Hey Boston Fans, You got a Gem in Rocco Baldelli


 

This
is an open letter to all of the Boston fans who either read or even
hate my Tampa Bay Rays talk from time to time. I thought you all might
like to know what kind of classy guy you got when you signed Rocco
Baldelli a few weeks ago. You might have saddened people like me who
got to know this quiet guy who was never at a loss for words or time
for the  Rays and other teams fans.

 
What
Boston got to see about Baldelli over the past few seasons is small in
comparison to the Rocco we all got to know and consider one of the
greatest all-time Rays. We all were taken aback in April 2008 when
Rocco pretty much said goodbye to all of us at a late Spring Training
press conference when he announced his illness and that he might not be
back ever to a baseball diamond. You could see the tears begin to well
up in his eyes as he considered life without baseball.

 

But
you what, maybe the millions of prayers and well wishes given to him
over that time helped to rebuild the man we thought would patrol center
field for the Rays until he retired. It is a part of life that people
move on from your ball club. But people like Rocco leave a lasting
impression that will still be there for years to come. From his
leadership in the clubhouse and on the bench during his recoveries over
the last few years, Baldelli has been the perfect team mate. Always
there for help and to lend a hand.

 

Boston
you are getting one of the true class acts in baseball, and I thought
you should know about this incredible ad placed in the St Petersburg Times
today by Baldelli thanking the team;s fans for their support. Even when
he was injured, he used to take the pitching stats and make styrofoam
impressions of his team mates and then give them to others to auction
off for charities and for fund raising events.

 

We
will truly miss Baldelli for his play on the field for the Rays since
2000 when he was drafted. He is one of those guys who makes hitting the
ball seem simple because of his nice and clean stroke to the ball. His
effortless running and fielding made you think of a young Joe DiMaggio,
who Baldelli was linked to early in his career. You got a guy who as
real on the field as he is off it, and Boston is a better town for him
being there.

 

Take
care of this guy and he will reward you with more than just timely hits
and runs. He will show you what it takes to be a professional
ballplayer and how to treat both the fans and the city like a winner
day in and day out.  Truly Boston, Rocco is a diamond in the rough, so
be nice and polish him every once in a while so he doesn’t tarnish, and
he will shine bright for Boston.

 

10 Comments

I liked getting him, and this makes the signing even better.

http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

I can tell you from personal experience the guy is a total class act. From his family down to his dog. This is the kind of guy who if he stayed healthy would have been a perfect role model for kids bar none in the league.

He is still a role model, but if he comes back 110 percent from this fatigue illness, he will burn the A L again at the plate.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Wow. He sounds like a class act indeed, and I can understand why you’re sorry to see him go. Very rare for a player to go out of his way to thank the fans of the team he’s leaving. Impressive.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Rays Renegade – Rocco sounds like he will fit in perfectly with the Red Sox both on and off the field and I promise – we’ll take good care of him! And we will keep up the prayers that he remains healthy.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Jane,

He will always be one of my all time Rays no matter what. I got lucky to know the guy on and off the field, and I can never say anything bad about the guy. I guess it is rare sometimes for a guy to remain humble once they hit the big show, but Rocco was as grounded in 2008 as he was when he signed in 2000.

I only wish the best for him and his family, but might have to occasionally boo him just because of the jersey ( maybe).

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

You will truly love the guy for what he can do in your clubhouse. Now that he is in the big clubhouse in Boston, and not that broom closet they call a visitor’s locker room.

He is an avid community service guy, and the first time you talk to him you will know why he is missed in Tampa Bay.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Baldelli would have been a great fit for the Mets. Power, speed, defense, all Endy Chavez and better. And he would agree to play as a fourth outfielder because of his conditon.
http://metsmainman.mlblogs.com

I am not sure if the Mets even contacted him, but they could have been a great addition to that squad.

I know the Pirates, Red, Red Soxs and the Rays were all considering him, but because he is from Rhode Island, maybe he decided to finally play in his childhood dream stadium of Fenway Park.

Whoever gets him beyond his Red Soxs career will get a totally professional guy , who will be a fan favorite..period.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Rays Renegade,
I promise to take good care of Mr. Baldelli. That’s so classy and kind that he wrote a note to all his fans and the team. When I was first learning the dynamics of baseball, I remember thinking what a cool name that was, Rocco Baldelli! He really deserved the Tony C award!
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

Yeah Rocco really deserved that award for the highs and lows he suffered in 2008.

but people forget he was one of the top Rookie of the Year candidates back in 2002 and he fought tooth and nail with New York Yankees Hedeki Matsui before both took themselves out of the race and it went to Kansas City Royals shortstop Angel Berroa.

He deserved that award too, but the Japanese media was eating both of them alive. I actually did an interview with a Japanese TV station back then and took my reason for Rocco to the Japanese public. I was probably Public Enemy Number 1 for a few weeks in Tokyo.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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