Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The John Lindsey Feel-Good Train Chugs Onward

Maybe it's because all of the Dodgers news is either depressing in the present (the 2010 season game recaps) or depressing for the future (the McCourt divorce), but it seems like the press is deliberately lingering on the story of the Dodgers' expanded roster call-up John Lindsey. However, even a blog as sarcastic as this one can't help but get warm and fuzzy reading articles likeJim Peltz's great feature piece in yesterday's LAT:

The story's big league chapter began last week in Round Rock, Texas, where Lindsey and his Albuquerque teammates were playing. Wallach called Lindsey into his office and said: "I've got the best news that I can possibly give somebody. You're going to the big leagues."

When Lindsey came out, "you could see it on his face right away," said pitcher John Ely, who was among those called up.

The Dodgers put them on a flight from Austin to San Diego, where the Dodgers were playing the Padres, and the beefy, 6-foot-2 Lindsey flew in first class for the first time in his life.

Then, in a moment that seemed tortuous for Lindsey and his fans, the right-hander was announced as a pinch-hitter in Wednesday's game at the Padres' Petco Park — officially his first at-bat in the big leagues. But then San Diego changed pitchers and before Lindsey could reach the batter's box, Dodgers Manager Joe Torre replaced him with the left-handed Andre Ethier.

"I told Lindsey, 'Something to live with: They'd rather pitch to Ethier than you,' " Torre quipped. "But [Lindsey] never lost his smile anyway." The manager also gave Lindsey the lineup card with his name on it as a memento, which Lindsey said he planned to frame.

Back in Hattiesburg, where it was about midnight, the game was on television and "when John came up to bat, we started receiving phone calls," his mother, Mattie, said. "People were apologizing, but they said, 'We just had to call because we're so proud of him.' "

I can remember the handful of times I was invited into my boss' office to find out I was being promoted, and how awesome it felt. But that wasn't regarding a position for which I had toiled 16 years in obscurity, and it sure as hell wasn't as cool as getting called up to The Show.

I can't get tired of reading stories about John Lindsey and his 2010 promotion to the Dodgers. What a great tale.

photo: Frederic J Brown / AFP / Getty Images


Kyle Baker said...

Completely agree. This is a great story of perseverance.