Saturday, November 3, 2012

For the love of baseball

Quintin Berry represents the baseball dreamer in all of us. Playing for seven years in the minors for several organizations, Berry finally made it the the big leagues in mid season with the Tigers.
Filling in for the injured Austin Jackson, Berry made an immediate positive impact, hitting well, and exhibiting great speed, something the Tigers sorely lacked. By the end of the regular season, Berry had stolen 23 bases in 23 attempts.

More importantly, Quintin showed his love for the game, and his obvious gratitude for finally making it to "the show". His enthusiasm was wonderful to watch, whether he was legging out an infield hit, stealing a base, making a catch in the outfield, or flashing that wide infectious smile. His hand claps became part of the game, and we could feel ourselves clapping for him, and partly, for ourselves. This was our guy. The underdog. The guy who looked like he would play for free. The guy who was thrilled just to be here. In the big leagues. Giving everything he had on every swing, every hit, and every catch.

Of course he had weaknesses. A swing far too long. Difficulty in clutch situations. The odd bad route to a fly ball. But still, when I think of him standing on the railing of the dugout wildly cheering for his platoon partner, Avisail Garcia, all I thought about was this: Q loves the game, respects the game, and is cherishing every moment playing Major League Baseball. He plays the game and enjoys the game in a special way which I think all of us can relate to.

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