The Lucky Ones
How lucky are we to be rooting for the team Ryan Howard plays for?
In a charming piece in this morning’s Inquirer Adam Rubin describes Howard’s experience during a just-concluded tour of
Little fazes this guy and even less goes to his head. Virtually unknown to Japanese baseball fans and journalists prior to the start of the series, he became an overnight sensation following his four home runs and .566 batting average. Meanwhile, the hardware just keeps piling up. Already named the Sporting News Player of the Year and winner of the Hank Aaron Award for 2006, Howard was just named the NL and MLB player of the year by his peers. He smiles that room illuminating smile of his and says the appropriate thanks to all the voters and probably wonders what all the fuss is about.
There can be no greater tribute to Howard than how other ball players speak of him: in short, with admiration, respect and affection. The other first baseman on the American squad,
Rubin’s descriptions of Howard eating sushi were priceless. Even more delightful was his description of the pain Howard felt in his legs, seated, eating sushi. The big guy kept shifting his position trying to get comfortable. Afterwards, Howard admitted that apart from downing the sea urchin and other delicacies, the hardest thing of all was just getting up.
If Howard were to move to