Young, or not so young, we often have a favorite player.
Years ago my favorite player was a catcher on the Dodgers, Johnny Roseboro. He is probably most famous for getting hit on the head by a baseball bat in the hands of then-Giants pitcher Juan Marichal.
I actually mailed whatI thought was a really good baseball bat to Johnny (my dad helped me wrap it up and take it to the post office). But, I never met him. In fact never got an autograph from him. Later he wrote a book (Glory Days with the Dodgers, Other Days with Others). I still have not read it, but there was something about him, his effort, his grittiness, that he was my favorite. When he came up it was more disappointing when he did not get a hit than anyone else, and that much more exciting when he did.
It’s years later. I really like a young kid on he Dodgers named Alex Verdugo — Dugie!
Swagger. Tats. Lots of promise. Big smile. A true character but kind of a momma’s boy. His walk up music to the plate was Volver Volver which his dad used to listen to when Alex was a kid. Fans immediately know who is coming to bat.
Except the Dodgers traded him to Boston, so now what?
Easy… As a Dodger fan… Clayton Kershaw.
Steady. Admirable. Lots of charisma. Role image. Sure there’s a knock about his post season performance, and he is an icon at this point, but his work discipline, his determination, competitiveness, his hall-of- fame-ish-ness… Gotta like that guy.
What makes someone your favorite player? If you met him (or her) would the conversation be easy, flow well, or would you be tongue tied? As the player ages, let alone as you age, does that change things? As with Dugie, does it matter what team he or she is on?
Tall? Short? Fast? Pitcher? Infielder? Coach? Can a coach be a favorite player?
Well, I am toying with the idea of “cheating” on Clayton. I might decide Walker Buehler is my favorite player. One of the reasons why is during a tv interview of some of the guys in the locker room, after a game, Walker nonchalantly walked by with a towel just barely hanging around his butt (he was on his way to a shower). The guys being interviewed cracked-up and said something like “Well that’s Walker for you!”
Bottom line, there is no set criteria, requirements or conditions. If you like someone, and you choose to root for him or her a bit more than anyone else, go for it. One thing I can say is that it is a bit embarrassing to be my age and have a favorite player who actually is young enough to be my son, but maybe that’s part of it: Having a favorite player means you never really get old yourself.