Dodger fans watching today’s game saw the team enter the bottom of the ninth, down 5-0, only to score seven runs, capped off by a walk-off three-run shot by A.J. Ellis.
But it’s what happened afterward that prompted this post.
Sitting inside my office at Camelback Ranch, I have a view of Maury’s Pit, the mini field here where the players work on their bunting with Dodger legend, Maury Wills. In the afternoons, it turns into a playground for all the Dodgers’ players kids as they wait for their fathers to get done “at work.” In fact, yesterday a five-year-old Rafael Furcal Jr. was absolutely crushing baseballs using a Major League-sized bat.
Then today, right after watching the ninth inning unfold on TV, I looked outside my window and saw A.J. Ellis’ kids playing around in Maury’s Pit. As he walked up in street clothes, just a few minutes after hitting a game-winning homer in a Major League game (albeit a Spring Training one), there were no congratulatory high fives or adulation…he simply picked up his son and immediately turned back into “Dad.”
Quite often, we forget that these players are actually people just like the rest of us but served as a fantastic reminder, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer person. A.J. is truly one of the most genuine people I’ve ever encountered in the game of baseball and his family is equally as awesome.
Congrats to all of them on their family’s game-winning hit and on having an All-Star dad.