“From Here on In, I rag nobody.” — Henry Wiggen
Without a doubt, the MLB player who hasn’t wore a Cleveland Indians’ uniform who I have blasted the most is Troy Percival. Long time readers from the Now Defunct, Widely Popular blog will remember why, so there is no reason to rehash all of that, although the tossing of miniature Indians’ batting helmets into the Angels bullpen while Percival was warming up in the first game after David Justice smacked him around with his batting helmet should never be forgotten. However, Troy Percival is no longer a major league baseball player; he is a high school varsity baseball coach for Moreno Valley High School. Percival made over 52 million dollars as a MLB player, and now coaches his alma mater’s team for free because he wants to give back to an institution that helped him when he was a youth.
Today, Percival’s team played Li’L Bobby’s team, Aquinas High School, in San Bernardino. Aquinas won 6-5, and after the game, Percival was gracious enough to sign my daughter Kathleen Angels’ hat and pose for a picture with her, even though his team dropped a close game. He also joked around with my wife and daughter, having a sincerely good time.
Quite often, baseball fans take major league baseball too seriously. Just as frequently, MLB players lose track of what is really important. Percival took over a program in shambles because he did not forget where he came from and what is important. While I am sure he will gain immense personal satisfaction from such an endeavor, he unselfishly is undertaking this task for the kids in the community where he grew up, something that is truly admirable.
At the risk of causing Hell to freeze over, I tip my hat to Troy Percival.