Monday, August 22, 2016
WHAT GARY SANCHEZ TAUGHT ME
I read something today that put a smile on my face. It was a reminder that baseball players have super hero moments that amaze us from time to time. Then there are times that you watch or listen to them and realize that even though they are public figures you can relate to them. Or, even if you can't relate to them you see the human element behind all of the bright spotlights.
On Saturday we saw a super hero moment when Brett Gardner robbed C.J. Cron of a home run and practically sat in the outfield seats. Some people are calling it the catch of the year and maybe it is. Those are the moments that media, including us here at BYB drool over. Those aren't the only moments though that are fit to print. There is another story that didn't quite get as much attention that also happened on Saturday that the New York Post covered, HERE.
For years now Yankee fans have been anxiously waiting and following Gary Sanchez down in the minors. We've heard about his growing pains and now he is finally playing in the Bronx, and playing regularly. He's not only playing regularly but he's making it look easy forcing Joe Girardi to let Sanchez catch in place of Brian McCann. It's another small part of the youth movement put into action.
I read the Post piece on Sanchez yesterday and I smiled. As I was reading about his childhood I had a dejavu moment. As I read about how he would play baseball in Santo Domingo using a shaved broomstick or tree branches for a bat and cardboard for a glove it instantly brought me back to Mariano Rivera and how his glove was also made out of cardboard. Our young 23 year old catcher played just like Mo did back in the day. A piece of what we hope to be our new dynasty in the making draws similarities from the greatest closer in history. It gave me goosebumps.
As we have watched Sanchez play this season we have seen him grow and know this better than any casual baseball fan. Years ago we were hearing about a bad attitude and game suspensions after not showing up to practice on time. Now as I read this article I can see how mature Sanchez is, and he is humble.When a player spends so much time talking about a teammate as he did Aaron Judge and admits that he can make the most improvements with "everything" and still contributes to the team on the field that is when you know a player is coming full circle. This is just the beginning. Who knows where his story will go next, but I can't wait to find out.
Sanchez reminded me of something very important today. The final results like a robbing an important home run are thrilling, but it's about the lessons and journey that help get you there that also matter. Baseball isn't just about incredible talent and watching players do things that I will physically probably never be able to do. It's about the choices you make that helps you get there. I miss personal stories like these in baseball. It's a shame that they do not get more attention....and they deserve it. So this is where it all starts, both for Sanchez and the great personal stories that are waiting to be told.
--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer & Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ