They all say they love the game. Brad Nelson has the numbers to back it up: 1,328 games, 1,307 hits, 181 home runs and 793 RBI — in the minor leagues.

Nelson, 30, a non-roster first baseman who leads the Cubs with a 1.202 OPS in nine spring-training games, has spent most of the last 12 seasons in the minors. He has 33 at-bats in the big leagues — with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008 and 2009, including two postseason appearances in the 2008 National League Division Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

He struck out in both at-bats, then went 0-for-21 in 2009 before he was sent to the minors. But an 0-for-23 skein in the big leagues is not even close to convincing Nelson it’s time to give it up. He never will.