It’s not because Barry Bonds hit seven hundred some odd home runs that I’m inspired; I don’t hate him for that like some do…but it doesn’t impress me much (all things considered).
It’s not because, for the first several years of his career (mostly, but not exclusively, in Pittsburgh) he was the epitome of an all around player.
It’s not even because (although this gets toward the heart of this piece) of visiting or offering to pay the college fees of the children of a Giants fan who was beat severely at a game in Los Angeles. (See complete story here).
Nope, its not those things… its this (from same story):
One of the coolest parts about this donation is that Bonds made it over a month ago when he visited Stow in a Southern California hospital on April 22. No mention was made to the media then and it looks like it would have still been a secret had Girardi not revealed it to the media.
Girardi, by the way, represents the man who was beaten, not Bonds.
This was, by all appearances, a completely selfless act. Mr Bonds is a guy in dire need of some good press right now, and this would have been so easy to capitalize upon… but he didn’t. He quietly visited the man, pledged his assistance, and went on about his life as if nothing happened. There was no chance for praise, no reason to expect anything in return… just giving… just because.
I am frequently conflicted about announced v. anonymous gifts. On one hand – as is the case here – there is something awe inspiring about a truly selfless gift. However, if a tree falls in the woods… blah blah blah. I believe there is absolutely a case to be made for leading by example and inspiring others to do the same.
On April 22nd the proverbial tree toppled and none of us heard it (until Girardi decided to shout out a posthumous ”timber!” in honor of the languished lumber); and today it matters…
It matters because this is the perfect storm, a rare scenario in which we can enjoy the confluence of selflessness and inspiration; without the burden of self-aggrandizement (or however you spell it).
Not because Barry did something nice, and not because he was silent about it; not because a couple kids will get a good education, and not because their parents won’t have to worry about how to make that happen; not because Girardi spoke out about it, and not because people like Kevin Kaduk continue to do so.
It’s not because of any single thing that this matters… it’s because of them all.