A Couple of Tugs and a Leadership Lesson
Heroism is as much a part of the game of baseball as wooden bats and infield dirt. Baseball fans grow up hearing stories about Babe Ruth calling his shot, Willie Mays making his famous catch, and Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier.
Furthermore, baseball has the ability to make heroes out of the most unlikely players. For instance, David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals will now forever be known as the hero of Game 6 of the 2011 World Series and the savior of the Cards' 11th World Series Championship.
Along with this heroism comes a certain mystique that somehow distances players from other everyday citizens. However, the recent heroics of the Cincinnati Reds' Todd Frazier bring everything back into focus.
This week, Frazier, who was fresh off of a mammoth week of hitting feats, was having lunch with teammate Ryan Ludwick when they noticed a man in the restaurant who was choking. With the immediate prompting of Ludwick, Frazier sprung into action. While using the Heimlich Maneuver, he gave a couple of tugs and was able to dislodge a piece of steak from the man's throat, saving his life.
For more details on this story, check out the David Brown's article here.
This story has a great leadership lesson in it: There is value when citizens demonstrate immediate, selfless leadership in order to assist another citizen.
I am definitely guilty of looking at ballplayers in a different light simply because of the amazing things that they do, but this story displays the simple human element that we all possess. We may not all have the opportunity to hit a walk-off home run to win an MLB game, but we all have the ability to make a difference in the lives of citizens around us. It is a responsibility we should all take seriously.
I am sure that this is just one of the many stories of selflessness and heroism that a major leaguer has shown off the field. Please feel free to leave a comment below describing any of the experiences that you have had, or you can tweet me @KyleOKC or the @MLBFanCave with your stories.