“We did this together. We did the little things the way you’re supposed to. I thanked them because we, as a team, made history tonight.”
This morning I saw another example of true class when I read the following article in the New York Daily News, National League Cy Young Award winner and NY Mets ace RA Dickey in his own words: 'This award is for every one of you.
In this piece R.A. Dickey thanks his family, former manager Buck Showalter, past knuckleballers Charlie Hough, Phil Niekro and Tim Wakefield as well as current Mets manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen for the part each of them played in helping him achieve this honor. He also makes it a point to thank the New York Mets' fan base that came out to support him all year despite an overall disappointing season for the team.
Classy doesn't even begin to explain how amazing an athlete and a person he is. Having just won the 2012 National League Cy Young Award, Dickey could have been out all night partying until 5 a.m. or on the phone with his agent plotting on how to best get a big payday on the back of this honor. Instead, he took the time to write this piece and thank those he felt contributed to this honor.
Having read Dickey's memoir Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball it's no shock that he reacted to being named the Cy Young Award winner in this way.
Dickey overcame a troubled childhood, sexual abuse and many years of doubt as to whether he would ever become a successful Major League pitcher. The Cy Young Award is the perfect epilogue to what has been a truly remarkable resurrection from has been to excellence.
In fact, if it wasn't true, Dickey's tale could have been lifted directly from a Hollywood script. It's a real life rags to riches story and one that shows how tenacity and never taking no for an answer can bring rewards.
Athletes and celebrities like R.A. Dickey are truly a rare breed. Arrogant and pampered superstars such as Alex Rodriguez, Mario Balotelli and Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson could learn a thing or two from him. A little bit of humility and appreciation goes a long way to earning respect.
Congratulations to R.A. Dickey for being an inspiring athlete and person.