Saturday, 18 September 2010
(I almost titled this "Wells done" but that might have mislead)
By now many of you know that our own Vernon Wells is the 2010 winner of the Branch Rickey Award.
The Rickey Award is given each year to the player who best personifies Rotary International's motto, "Service Above Self" through their humanitarian works. Well informed Toronto residents and Jays fans have been aware for some time the amount of money and effort Wells pours into his Perfect 10 Foundation and he's a regular nominee for this award. It is a considerable honor to win it and he'll be inducted into the Baseball Humanitarians Hall of Fame in Denver on Nov. 13, 2010.
It is appropriate then, that I echo the comments made elsewhere: for all the grief Wells took on the field last year, whether justified or not, on a human level (you know, up here where the stuff that's more important than a child's game lives) it really is a shame that shuch a throughly classy guy had to go through that. it's one thing to boo the Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens' of the world, or even to boo the guy you perceive to be an ass on a rival team (looking at you A-Rod and Youk) but I, for one, would love to see the fans of my favorite team show as much class towards classy guys as they deserve, even when their on-field performance disappoints us.
Next time we bitch and moan how very much money the super-deep pockets of Rogers Communications has to come up with for Vernon Wells, let's take a minute to note how VERY much of that money is passed on to the neediest among us and ask ourselves - is it REALLY such a crime that the pockets of the big faceless corporate giant are a little lighter so that a good-hearted ball player can make a difference in countless young lives who need it most?
(Yes, I know the purpose of the contract wasn't to help poor kids but that is the ultimate effect)
Certainly, between the lines, he's making too much money from 2010-2014, but the important stuff in this world doesn't happen between the chalk lines, as much as we fans might sometimes lose sight of that fact.