I bet fans of all sports miss watching their favorite players who have retired.
For some that man would be Cal Ripken Jr., for others, he could be Tom Seaver, Ken Griffey Jr., or Hank Aaron.
But the man I miss the most is the great outfielder for the Blue Jays, Dodgers, D-Backs and Mets, Shawn Green.
He was a real gamer and a great guy.
Green played the game right, never got close to all the mess of steroids and drugs that Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire got into. And just like Ken Griffey Jr., he did not fall in to that trap of cheating.
If only more players played like this good man and didn't cheat; we would have a different game today, and by different I mean better.
Green was drafted in the first round as the 16th overall pick in 1991 by the Blue Jays. He was part of the Blue Jay team that won two World Series in a row. In 1999 he had his best year in Toronto, hitting .309 with 45 home runs and 123 RBI.
The next year he was traded to the Dodgers for Raul Mondesi. A bit later, Green and the Dodgers agreed on a six-year $84 million deal.
On May 23, 2002, he tied the record for home runs in a game with four. His best year with the Dodgers was 2001, when he hit 49 home runs with 125 RBI and a .297 average.
In 2005, the Dodgers traded Green to Arizona in a three team trade. Green did not play too well for the D-Backs. In two seasons he had 33 home runs and 146 RBI.
Aug. 22, 2006, was a big day for the New York Mets. Four big things happened:
- The Mets found out that Tom Glavine would not need to go on the DL.
- Carlos Delgado hit two home runs, the second one his 400th career home run and a grand slam.
- Carlos Beltran hit a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the 9th to give the Mets a 8-7 win over the Cardinals.
- The Mets finalized a deal to get Shawn Green.
The Game against the Cardinals was great, and having Glavine be OK was big. But for me, the big thing was getting Green. The guy I grew up admiring and loving was going to be on the team I root for.
Just an amazing thing for me.
He played 160 games in two season with the Mets, and was not that good. But seeing him play was fun for me.
Green has also amazed me by other things he has done. One of them is not playing on the most holy day for the Jews, "Yom Kippur." I may not be Jewish, but that day has come in the middle of pennant races and important games. Going with what you believe and not with what you want to do is important and I respect him for not playing on that day.
He has also donated a lot of money to Jewish foundations all over the United States.
He was an amazing player and his 328 home runs and 1,070 RBI are only part of the reason. But more of the reason is the man, not the baseball player. Green is a good man, if only more players would be like him.
Baseball and the world would be a better place.