The “Boys of Summer” is a term associated with baseball players, but not always with morality. Nonetheless, many professional baseball players understand that they are examples for young boys and girls, who will undoubtedly look up to them. Many people have a baseball player hero – having grown up in Seattle during the 1990s, my baseball role models are (for better or worse) Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Buhner, Dan Wilson, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, Joey Cora, Tino Martinez, and maybe even Vince Coleman. Professional athletes seem to hold themselves in such a way as to make other people want to be like them.
Across the league, here are a few of the most obvious role models in Major League Baseball:
*Vladimir Guerrero – Besides the fact that he does not wear batting gloves (which is pretty bad ass), Vladimir Guerrero is one of the all-around best players of the 2000s. A free-swinging average hitter with power and a cannon for an arm, Guerrero is not done yet. He is not just a great baseball player – he's a great role model. Guerrero was never in the news for the wrong reason and you knew he was giving it everything he had when you watched him play.
*Mariano Rivera – Ignoring the fact he plays for the Evil Empire of Major League Baseball (the New York Yankees), Mariano Rivera is the consummate professional closer. Plain and simple, he will be the bar that all future closing relief pitchers will be measured against, and for good reason. With one pitch – the cut fastball – Rivera has achieved a level of success that no other reliever has even sniffed. Even though Rivera is well into his 40s, he is yet to suffer a major sports injury. Despite being the best of the best, Rivera – a man outspoken about his Christian faith and commitment to charity – will never praise himself or take his ability for granted.
*Ken Griffey Jr. – Okay, so as I alluded to above, I am biased: to me, Ken Griffey Jr. is the best baseball player ever. Griffey brought a swing that is too sweet to top a sundae to the table, flashed a smile that made dentists envious and made catches in center field that literally need to be seen in order to be believed. Furthermore, Griffey was a huge presence (and still is to this day) in the Seattle community. Griffey is even involved with the Seattle Mariners in a management capacity. With all the natural talent in the world, Griffey still committed himself to the challenge of becoming one of the all time baseball greats. Hard work and a good attitude are certainly great traits for any kid.
Obviously, there are more good baseball role models. Check out the following sights and add your own to the list.
“USA Today” (2005)