Thank You Adam Wainwright for Being a Hero On and Off the Field
I distinctly remember when I first heard his name mentioned as part of the St. Louis Cardinals trade that sent J.D. Drew to the Atlanta Braves for Jason Marquis that also involved 2 other players. We were told his was a name to watch. Boy was that ever true as now I say goodbye and thank you to Adam Wainwright as he walks off into the sunset.
I could rattle off numerous stats about what Adam Wainwright has accomplished as a player including his 200th career victory which happened just a couple weeks ago. Bernie Miklasz mentioned in a recent column that Adam is the only player since 1969 to have 200 pitching victories and 10 or more home runs. Baseball Reference documents his lifetime ERA is a mere 3.53 which is remarkable over a career. But, it's not Adam Wainwright the player as much as Adam Wainwright the person who I'll remember and cherish more.
10 years ago in 2013, Adam launched his charity called Big League Impact. The official site says "We are only strangers when we see the needs of others and do not act." In the past 10 years, Adam's work has raised over $8 million dollars which has assisted numerous parts of the world including the need for clean drinking water in countries where that is not common.
Will I remember the iconic moment when Adam struck out Carlos Beltran in 2006 to send the Cardinals to the World Series or the final out against the Tigers that brought St. Louis another world championship? Of course I will. But, I'd much rather remember the time when one of his 5 kids took over a press conference.
Baseball has always been my favorite sport and the Cardinals my favorite team. But, when all is said and done, what we do in real life is the only thing that really lasts and that's what I'll value about Adam Wainwright more than the playing days. A goodhearted human being who's impact in St. Louis (and the world) is very hard to measure and it will continue even though his playing days are now coming to a close.
Thank you, Adam Wainwright. We're better off watching you live your life and we'd all be wise to model ours the same.