Toughest Day of the Year
This is always one of the toughest days of our year. Yes, the team has an 11-game winning streak, something that hasn’t happened since I joined the club back in 1995 (the last one was in 1993). However, that pales in comparison to our trip to Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles. In about half an hour, I’ll head over there with Rafael Furcal, Russell Martin, Chad Billingsley and Frank McCourt, where they’ll spend some time with the kids who are dealing with more than I can possibly imagine.
I’ve been fortunate enough to accompany the team on several hospital visits each of the past few years and to say it’s a reality check is a serious understatement. No matter how good things are going on the field or even if we were in the midst of an 11-game losing streak, this always reminds me just how fortunate me and my family are to be healthy, let alone earning a living in the game of baseball.
You might recall T.J. Simers writing an incredible piece when Eric Gagne went to Mattel Children’s Hospital a couple years ago and I’m sure we’ll have some TV crews there today if you want to see some of the footage from the visit, but I can vouch for all of the players I’ve gone with to these hospitals – it’s a humbling, eye-opening experience for them, too.
There will be more on the game later today and of course, there’s plenty of great stories out there today about Greg Maddux’s impact on the team from Bill Plaschke (LA Times), Steve Bisheff (OC Register), Jim Alexander (Riverside PE) and Mike Waldner (Daily Breeze) as well as a well done, tongue-in-cheek column by Steve Dilbeck (Daily News), who wrote the team off two weeks ago and has watched them go 11-0 ever since.