Professional baseball may be nothing more than a business to certain players, coaches and ownership groups, but it seems safe to say it means a bit more to NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey. The knuckleballer bounced around from team to team during his nine-year MLB career, but the New York Mets were the first one to give him a chance to prove himself as a full-time starter. It’s safe to say Dickey exceeded expectations.
In three seasons with New York, Dickey compiled a 39-28 record and an impressive 2.95 ERA. He struck out 230 hitters last season and made his first All-Star appearance at the age of 37. The Mets traded the right-hander to the Toronto Blue Jays last week, which inspired Dickey to write a heartfelt letter for the NY Daily News thanking his former team and the fans of New York. Here is a sample:
I never expected to be writing a farewell “holiday card” to Mets fans. I never expected to be doing anything but celebrating the joy of the season with my wife and kids and looking toward the spring, and the start of my fourth season with an organization that gave me maybe the greatest gift an athlete can get:
A chance for a fresh start. A chance to prove that maybe I could be somebody on a big league mound, an authentic and trustworthy pitcher, not just a retread with a weird name and an even weirder pitch — a man who was so in need of financial stability that he had to get talked out of taking a guaranteed contract to go pitch in Korea.
The entire thing is worth a read, especially for those of you who think professional athletes only care about money. We have seen star players and popular general managers take out full-page ads thanking the fans, but very few put the type of effort into it that Dickey put into his piece. Kudos to the veteran for finding a way to genuinely express his appreciation.
H/T SI Hot Clicks
Photo credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE