Cleat Geeks

Class Act’s 101

What does it mean to be a professional major league ball player? Well, we all know you get the love and hate of thousands. You get to be tweeted at constantly with people telling you how to play the game you are paid to play for a living. The best part though, is they get to be a role model to people of all ages, races, and gender. They, because they are a professional athlete, have the power to make a little childs day by just saying hi or giving a person hope that has a terminal disease and loves going to the games to see their team play. We have seen lately that the players are now doing so much to give back to their fans; this is what this weekly post will consist of. I will start with baseball, but it wont only be baseball players that I talk about all athletes in general.

Baseball Class Acts

motteKshirtsThe first player I am going to talk about is Jason Motte who is currently a relief pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. Jason and his wife started a Foundation called the Jason Motte Foundation. The seed for the Jason Motte Foundation was planted in the fall of 2010 when Jason and Caitlin Motte asked, “what can we do to help?” At the time, Caitlin’s grandfather, Lynn Doyle, was a cancer patient at The West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee. Jason and Caitlin saw a sign that mentioned a need for blankets and wondered what more they could do to help. That question led to the formation of the Strike Out Cancer with Jason Motte Foundation and several projects including the annual Strike Out Cancer with Jason Motte.

Their Mission statement reads; The money goes towards research all while providing comfort and care where there is a need for those affected, either directly or indirectly, by cancers of all kinds. Jason has been doing a lot to help out with the cancer community. You can find out more information by visiting The Jason Motte Foundation.

Next is Matt Kemp, who now plays for the San Diego Padres, but at the time of this generous act, played for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In a game they lost to Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 10.29.49 PMthe San Francisco Giants at AT & T Park in early May of 2013 he walked over to a lucky fan but what he does next shocks most.

At the time, Tim Wallach was the third base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had been speaking to Matt about the boy wearing a Dodger blue hoodie who was seated with his father and a friend down the third base line at the stadium. Kemp then told Wallach that he wanted to meet with him after the game. Kemp then approached the teen, 19-year-old Joshua Jones. He signs a ball for the terminally ill boy, who according to his father, cannot speak and is suffering from inoperable tumors in his spine. Kemp then takes off his hat, jersey and cleats and gives them all to Joshua. That fan unfortunately isn’t with us anymore, passing away from terminal brain cancer, but the smile on his face when he received the attention and respect of Matt Kemp is unforgettable.Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 10.29.20 PM

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 10.22.09 PMLastly we go to the Cincinnati Reds and utility player Skip Schumaker who made a beautiful lady smile when he went over to her in St. Louis earlier this season. The picture went viral when a relative of the women wanted to make sure Schumaker knew just how special he made her feel that game.Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 10.22.19 PM He was the only player to stop by and go out of his way to sign a ball for her that day. From there, they went on to casual conversation for a few minutes and he posed for a few pictures while also commenting on her nails. Ashlea, spent 10 years fighting, but sadly passed away shortly on April 23rd just a few days after this life changing encounter took place.When he saw that the relative contacted him Schumaker replied back with a heart felt message, which really made the families day.

Schumaker is quoted as saying “its not tough to be a good person” which is completely true. We all have the power to make the day of anyone’s day but its powerful when it happens to be our favorite player.

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