Hats off to Jake Peavy
Add Padres pitcher Jake Peavy to the Office’s list of favorite non-Braves.
As a native of Lower Alabama, I’m naturally partial to guys from that area. But the native Mobilian Peavy took a further step in my book of good guys with a gesture during a Padres’ salute to the Negro Leagues this month.
From the San Diego Union-Tribune:
For his first pitch to Cubs leadoff hitter Juan Pierre, Peavy went to a double-pump windup reminiscent of an era that was long gone by the time Peavy was born in 1981.
It was Peavy's own way of saluting the Negro Leagues, which the Padres were officially doing.
“It just seemed like the right thing to do," Peavy said yesterday. “We were wearing old-style uniforms. And Satchel Paige is a Mobile (Ala.) guy like me. I just wanted to say, 'I know what you guys did and who you are.' "
Later in the story, Peavy said, “Mobile has five Hall of Famers and five pioneers ... Aaron, Ozzie Smith, Satchel, Willie McCovey and Billy Williams. I just wanted to show some respect. I practiced the double-pump in the bullpen to be sure I could throw it for a strike.”
Peavy wears No. 44, and I’m curious whether that is an homage to Aaron and/or McCovey, who both wore that number. I’ve been unable to find anything online about that.
It’s always refreshing to discover that a major leaguer is actually a fan of the game and its rich history. It’s too rare. Way to go, Jake. Maybe you’ll end up in Atlanta some day.
I echo CD's cap tip to Peavy, who symbolizes a small yet encouraging trend among young players (like Jimmy Rollins and Dontrelle). I'd include many of the "Baby Braves" -- namely Brian McCann -- on the list of burgeoning stars who actually appreciate and enjoy the game they play. I'm sure there's plenty who don't, but I think we've made some progress from the days when Jay Bell -- quoted in a Sports Illutrated article about the topic more than a decade ago -- asked, "Who's Mickey Mantle?"