It’s hard to remember that baseball players were wide-eyed kids like all of us at one point. Sure, there’s plenty of antics caught on camera in the dugout that remind us they’re playing a kids’ game. But given the amount of work, training, and coaching these guys get, it’s hard to picture them riding their bikes to the Little League field as kids. Sometimes it feels like baseball players, and athletes in general, are just produced in some nondescript building off an unmarked exit off the interstate.
Willy Adames yesterday reminded us that even MLB players have their heroes and those who inspired them to become pro ballplayers. And that they can still be in awe, even though they spend every day surrounded by the very best in the world at what they do.
I had that same look when I met Shirley Manson. Though I’m guessing unlike me, Adames was able to remember his name around Jeter. Jeter handles it like a pro, though he’s probably used to being mobbed. Just not on the Yankee Stadium pitcher’s mound.
There’s a joke to be made that Adames might not feel the same way if he were negotiating a new contract with a team that Jeter was running, given what we saw in Miami. But it’s healthier to just revel in even a Major League player feeling the same joy any of us would have if we got to meet our favorite all-time player (mine’s Ryne Sandberg, who meeting in person would be like being introduced to a slab of drywall, so maybe not all of us). It’s a kid’s game after all, and we watch to remember what it’s like to be a kid. Gotta hold on to stuff like this. Otherwise you’re a Republican.
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