View Full Version : Ambassadors of the game

05-07-2012, 11:50 AM
I have 12 year-old twin boys. One started out as a Reds fan, but has gravitated to the Texas Rangers. He has followed Derek Holland closely because he is from our town. So we went to the final game of the series yesterday in Cleveland.

We arrived just at the end of batting practice for the Indians, and afterward the Rangers were throwing along the RF foul line. The boys were yelling for balls, but the Indians players wouldn't because my boy was wearing a Rangers cap. Surprisingly, even though Holland pitched Saturday night, he was out throwing yesterday.

So, as the Rangers are starting to head to the dugout, Holland heads across the field to get a stray ball in CF. He then heads over to the LF wall and starts talking to my boys. They tell him they are from his hometown, so he starts quizzing them with local questions to test if they are really from Newark. Then he tosses a couple of balls up, one the Rangers fan gets, the other to a friend of my boys who was at his first big league game. My son was quivering from excitement when he got back to our seat. Good job, Derek.

Mr. Holland is a good guy, he is very active in our community and is using his celebrity the right way. In the offseason, he makes appearances and does a few baseball clinics, a very good ambassador of the game. I told my son to hold onto the ball, and when he's in town during the offseason, we'll go get the ball signed. I imagine he'll remember this encounter from everything else I've seen of him.

05-07-2012, 12:21 PM
Great post and thanks for sharing!! It may be hard to believe but some guys are still good role models in todays game even with all the money their making

05-07-2012, 12:26 PM
http://www.yardbarker.com/mlb/articles/msn/jeff_francoeur_tosses_100_bill_into_stands_with_no te_buy_some_beer_on_me_video/10720442
Francouer bought beer for some fans recently, I believe he sent pizzas out to the fans one day recently too. He has been doing it at home and on the road.

Here it is:

You may have heard that this isn’t the first time Francoeur has ingratiated himself to folks in the stands. Last season, during a game against the Oakland A’s at the Coliseum, Francoeur threw a $100 bill into the right field seats with a note that instructed the A’s fans to buy bacon or beer with it.

The gesture became known as “Bacon Tuesday”, which was once again celebrated this April when Francoeur and the Royals visited Oakland. Only this time, a member of the Royals staff delivered 20 personal pan pizzas to the crowd with a note from Francoeur that read, “”Right field bleacher crew, keep making bacon.” Ha.

05-07-2012, 12:27 PM
I heard that about Frenchy. It was in Oakland. That is an awesome story

05-07-2012, 01:12 PM
I saw one of RZ whipping boys do something similar in DC before the game. A teenage kid was down behind the dugout, where I was, begging for a baseball or something from one of the players. Votto ignored him while Willie Harris went over to the batting cage and picked up a ball and tossed it to him. I thought it was very nice of Harris to go out of his way to do that for that kid.

05-07-2012, 06:25 PM
In 1980 I was visiting my Uncle Russ and Aunt Pat Elledge, who are Mormons who attend the Montgomery Stake Center, and Dale Murphy was in town with the Braves and came to Sunday AM services. My son Rusty who was 7 at the time was overawed (as was I actually) but Murphy invited him to sit with him, went to his car after the service and got him a ball and signed it for him. For years after that Russ collected every Dale Murphy ballcard and followed him as "his" player. To my chagrin, today he is a Braves/Reds fan with the Braves coming first. He manages a Walmart in Independence, Missouri and still has that baseball although I think he gave away or lost the ballcards long ago. Dale Murphy was a class act all the way.

05-07-2012, 07:01 PM
Without repeating all of the details, what Brandon Phillips does with Twitter and with the people who follow him there serves as a great way to engage the fans.
Ex. Showing up at little league games, taking a fan plus family on a trip to Chicago and then having dinner with them every night of the series, etc.

05-08-2012, 12:50 PM
Very cool traderumor. I wish more of these stories would get out.