Tuesday, June 5, 2007

thank you, Mike Lowell

Sometimes we don't realize how the game of baseball affects people and their families. We also tend to overlook how professional baseball players are human being as well.

Peter Gammons, in his latest Insider Blog, talks about how Robinson Cano, after the Red Sox beating last Friday, was upset at Lowell practically elbowing the 2nd baseman in order to break up a possible double play. Cano complained after the game, and many in baseball seemed to reciprocate that view. Many called Lowell a "cheap-shot artist." Lowell was just giving the Yankee middle infield a taste of what A-Rod did to Pedroia weeks back, but that's not the point. Gammons goes on to cite this story from the Boston Herald that showed the REAL Mike Lowell. I've pasted the short article below.

In a family’s darkest hour, Mike Lowell [stats] offered a bit of light.

Courtney Butcher couldn’t have been more excited about the prospect of sitting in Fenway Park [map]’s Green Monster seats for the Red Sox [team stats]’ April 22 game against the Yankees. It was an excitement evidenced in a phone conversation to her father, Jim, two days earlier.

That, however, would be the last time father and daughter would speak.

An hour after Jim’s conversation with Courtney, the 18-year-old was killed in a car crash on a country road in Leicester. Also killed in the accident were teenagers Nathan Plaza, Bryan Rossik and Julianne Caron.

Two nights after the tragedy, Courtney’s favorite player, Lowell, and the rest of the Red Sox played the game the University of New Hampshire freshman was supposed to see. Right on cue, Lowell launched one of the Sox’ four straight home runs near the spot Butcher was supposed to be.

Then, in the seventh inning, Lowell did it again, this time sending his homer even farther. The blast prompted ESPN announcer Jon Miller to say, “That one is headed to New Hampshire!”

The Butchers took notice.

Through a family friend, the Butchers got word to Lowell the following Tuesday regarding what happened. The Red Sox signed one of his game jerseys, writing “Courtney, may God be with you. Rest in peace.”

A day later the shirt was hung near Courtney’s casket during her wake and is encased at the Worcester family’s home as a reminder of their daughter.

But Lowell also added something else that Tuesday night, after personalizing the memento - another home run, this time coming after a momentous prediction.

“They told me he said he would hit a home run that night,” Jim Butcher said. “It was just a tremendous thing he did.”

When asked last night, Lowellindicated it was the least he could do.

“If it can lighten the load for people who are going through tough times, then that’s great,” he said. “You want to make people feel better any way you can in that situation.”

Amazing story, eh? Thank you Mike Lowell for not only being a great example to kids everywhere and great ballplayer, but thank you for being an amazing human being.

Currently Drinking: Chocolate Milk(protein, baby!)

1 comment:

Trevor said...

It was a pretty rough shot but warranted for two reasons:
1) He stopped running, Cano initiated contact, and Lowell gave him a bit of a hit. It's eye for an eye in baseball and was not as intentional as A-rod slide, stand up, and elbow Pedroia who was well inside the running path.
2) Lowell said immediately after the game that he was taught to get tagged like that during a double play attempt by the Yankee organization years ago. I don't have a link to the article but I'm sure you can find it.

P.S. It is always warranted to take a shot at a Yankee. Regardless of the circumstances!

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