Nick Swisher: Good guy
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| By chris_d on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 12:26 pm:|
With all bad news we had this week, it was nice seeing this story on Nick Swisher in the Oct. 20 Mercury News:
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/12948407.htm (gotta register)
MAKING FRIENDS WITH A'S ROOKIE
By Gary Richards
Magical moments in life can pop up most unexpectedly.
Like on an airplane trip from Oakland to Chicago last December for my 13-year-old son, Matt, and my wife, Jan.
The seat next to Matt was empty, the last one on the flight. The plane was about to take off when a young man wearing a baseball hat, his wrist clearly healing from some injury, dashed down the aisle, asking if he could take the vacant seat.
As they settled in for the four-hour trip, Jan asked what happened to his hand. He said he got hit by a pitch. It didn't look like a rec league injury, so she asked more about it. ``It happened in spring training,'' he said.
``Oh, really? Who do you play for?'' she replied.
``The A's,'' said the young guy with the engaging smile.
His name: ``Nick Swisher. My dad, Steve, played for the Cubs for a few years.''
Matt sat silently. Later, he would say: ``Mom, when he said his name, my spine froze.''
Matt had devoured ``Moneyball,'' the book on the A's the year after they drafted Swisher. For nearly four hours, they talked baseball, about Nick's upbringing as the son of a big leaguer, more baseball, and his love for his grandmother who would pass away this summer.
They were like two kids, talking about their passion for the game. Only one had just graduated from Little League, and the other had just joined the big leagues.
Matt asked what time players got to the park for a night game. Nick said around midafternoon. They would hit, field and stretch, then head back to the clubhouse.
``Then guess what,'' Nick said. ``You ought to see the neat video games we play.''
For Matt, that plane ride was Christmas.
But the story gets better.
We went early to a game in June and headed toward the A's dugout. Matt wanted to say hi to Swisher. I feared Nick might not remember him. Just before the first pitch, Swisher started out of the dugout. ``Nick!'' Matt yelled.
Swisher began an obligatory wave, then spotted Matt. A big grin came over the face of the rookie right fielder, who cheerfully trotted over and chatted with the boy he remembered.
A few nights later, our daughter, Anne, called from the restaurant in Berkeley where she worked and said Swisher would be there for a radio show. Did Matt want to come?
For nearly half an hour, the two chatted like the pals they had become, Swisher excitedly telling his girlfriend, ``This is the kid from the airplane, the one I told you about!''
I came later to pick Matt up, and over the din of the crowd I whispered to Swisher, ``You have made a young boy very happy.''
And a Mom and Dad, too.
Gary Richards is better-known as Mr. Roadshow. Contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews. com or (408) 920-5335
| By washfan on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 12:52 pm:|
Okay this story is odd...what is Swish doing leaving Oakland in December when the season ended in Oct? Spring training injury in December? Well maybe the A's flew him out to be examined again by their doc. I remember he ended 04' playing with a broken thumb? Dashing down the aisle no seat assignment? Clearly the Cheap Schott regime still in control. Crowley thinks to him self knowing cheap Schitt still is the Owner "Let's put our 1st round draft pick, potential ROY on a South West Oak to Midway to Westneck Virginia, nahhh this kid don't need a 1st class ride."
| By eyleenn on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 10:31 pm:|
The timing is indeed odd. But it is a sweet story.
| By rtd on Saturday, October 22, 2005 - 12:36 am:|
Swish played all of 04 with a jacked up wrist. Probably was being seen by Goldman. Swish is incredibly patient and just a great guy. This planet needs more people like him. He truly knows how to treat people. He just gets it. No matter what I will always support him.