The next time you eat at Joe T. Garcia's Mexican Restaurant in Fort Worth, the guy waiting on you could be a future Major League Baseball star.
Three waiters now on staff play for independent baseball teams. They're working for tips in the off-season to pay the bills while they dream of becoming major leaguers.
"They work really hard and we do what we can to help them," said Joe T. Lancarte, whose family opened the restaurant in 1935.
Wes Alsup spent time playing for minor league affiliates of the Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners before he suffered injuries. He spent 2013 with the Fort Worth Cats and has since signed with a team in Pennsylvania.
"When you're a little kid, five years old, you dream of making it all the way," he said. "I love the game and, deep down, I know I can still play."
2015 Frontier League Rookie of the Year Brandon Tierney spent the last three seasons as an infielder for the Frontier Greys. The Fort Worth native will play for the Kansas City T-Bones this season.
"I feel like I can get [to the majors]," he said. "It's a little extra drive. Do you really want to be waiting tables when you could be playing on opening day? That's the extra kick in the butt."
Roman Gomez spent two seasons playing the infield and pitching in Fort Worth and Brownsville. He'll leave soon to play for a team in California.
"Everybody that told me I wasn't going to be able to do something, that's kind of my personality to prove them wrong," he said.
They all love baseball and hope someday to be on the field at an opening day game. Until then, they do what's necessary to chase their dream.
"It's great to see how they're doing, where they're going and hopefully, someday they can make the big show," Lancarte said. "That's their big dream."