If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance the above picture gives you goosebumps.
Edgar Renteria throwing his hands up in triumph, after smacking that 0-1 Charles Nagy pitch into center field to deliver the Marlins their first world championship. Way above home plate, well into the old Fish Tank section just a few rows shy of the wall, a thirteen-year old boy just figured out that baseball could be pretty awesome. And nineteen years later, you’re stuck hearing him wax romantic about baseball.
But to make up for it, watch this.
Good times. That shot of Counsell coming home and leaping into the air, that’s the one frozen in time. The one that led so many of us, be it by directly capturing our hearts or the hearts of the parents that passed Marlins fandom down to the next generation, to follow this team for better or worse. Because back before firesales, Lorianess, and all the rest of the noise, it was once this good. Such, such better.
But for Marlins third base coach Rich Donelly, there was a moment during that career defining moment where baseball was the farthest thing from his mind. And the story of that moment is the stuff that reminds you what really matters most in this world.
ESPN will be airing a piece on this story, “The Chicken Runs At Midnight”, throughout the day on Sunday. First shot will be during the 10:00am SportsCenter, and it’ll pop up again in subsequent airings for the day’s duration. Many of you might have heard a version already, but it’s such an inspirational tale, and I think we can probably all do with an uplifting story this week.
I’ve also included a link to a great piece by Tim Kurkijan back in 2010, that not only brings in some of Craig Counsell’s thoughts, but former Marlins pitcher Anibal Sanchez as well, who found a good deal of personal inspiration from the story.
But tomorrow’s program looks to be well worth the time to check out. Jim Leyland even narrates.