There is plenty about baseball to make you mad. Ticket prices, crazy salaries and Barry Bonds just to name a few. It’s easy to get discouraged.
But every once in a while, baseball reminds you why you loved it in the first place and Sunday night was one of those nights.
The New York Chapter of the BBWAA had its annual awards dinner tonight and everybody was there. And by everybody I mean David Eckstein, Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Julio Franco, Joe Girardi, Brandon Webb, Willie Randolph, Cal Ripken Jr., Frank Robinson, Reggie Jackson, Tony Gwynn, Jim Leyland, Justin Morneau, Justin Verlander, Tom Glavine, Johan Santana, Carlos Delgado and David Wright.
That’s every player who won a major award and every person who was voted an award by our chapter. All turned out on a cold January night. It’s not often you get a head table like that.
If you were there, you know what kind of night it was. If you weren’t, you missed some cool moments.
Baseball is in good hands if Ryan Howard is the next great player. What a humble, well-spoken and classy young man. The same was true of Hanley Ramirez, who told the huge crowd how much he loved his former manager, Joe Girardi.
Carlos Delgado, who won an award for charity work, was eloquent about his work with children. Reyes and Wright, two guys from vastly different backgrounds, seem to be genuine friends who care sincerely about New York and the Mets.
The best part of the night was to see the elegant Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s widow, present the Rookie of the Awards named for her husband to Ramirez and Verlander. Two stars from 2007 were connected to a player whose career started in 1947.
Willie Randolph spoke about how much Frank Robinson has meant to him along the way. Glavine sat next to Santana and talked pitching all night.
I could go on and on and if you think this kind of sentiment is silly, then that is your call. But as snow fell outside on 6th Ave., it was a good night for baseball and a good night to be a baseball fan.
Only 15 days until pitchers and catchers in Tampa.