You don't have to be a sports fan to appreciate what Kansas City Royals pitcher Danny Duffy did recently to honor Yordano Ventura, his 25-year-old teammate who died in a car accident in January.
Duffy wanted to do something for Ventura's mother. But what?
He set up an anonymous account on eBay and bid on Yordano Ventura memorabilia. This excellent story on Yahoo! Sports says Duffy wanted Ventura's mother to be able to look at a few things that captured her son at his finest to remind her about the impact her son made.
Duffy paid $100 for a bobblehead and had it sent to Kauffman Stadium (where the Royals play). The seller put two and two together and someone tweeted about it. Before long, Duffy's locker at Kauffman Stadium was filling up with limited-edition baseball cards of Ventura, handwritten notes, more bobbleheads, and so much more.
Over the years, I've interviewed Duffy a number of times. Once, I talked to him at length about his comeback from Tommy John surgery – asking him questions he's probably answered a hundred times before, but he still gave me introspective answers.
During another interview, he was in the minor leagues because a young up and coming pitcher named Yordano Ventura beat him out for the last pitching spot on the big league club. I asked him about that and here's what he said:
"I put a lot of pressure on myself this year coming in knowing I'm going to be competing with the best stuff on the planet in Ventura and the kid shoved in spring training. Hats off to him. I'm proud of him for how far he's come. So I came here just trying to have fun and to be a good teammate. I'm having a blast with these guys."
In all my years of covering sports, Duffy was one of a handful of guys I could always count on to tell me exactly he was thinking. When Duffy said he was proud of Ventura, I really believed him, even though Duffy was in the minor leagues as a result of Ventura.
Ventura is gone now and Duffy is finding ways to help Ventura's mother grieve. Grieving with others is a great way to live deeper. It not only lightens the load just a little, but it also creates a lifelong bond.
Here are this week's week's thoughts about slowing down and living deeper:
Have we connected on Twitter or Facebook? If not, let's do so now.
And if you like what you're reading here and want to support it, then join my email list, or consider buying a book or becoming a patron (all patrons receive free copies of my e-books as they are released as a thank you for the support).
Have a great weekend!
Lee Warren is a freelance writer and editor who has written twelve non-fiction books, one novella and hundreds of articles for various newspapers and magazines as well as edited more than 50 books that currently appear in print. He's a fan of NASCAR, baseball, tennis, books, movies and coffee shops.
In this Christmas novella, you'll encounter three wayward souls, two angels and one inn of mercy.
30 essays about the way our first loves, first experiences, and first favorites shape us.
Thirty daily readings to encourage readers to live with the end in mind.
Thirty daily readings to encourage the never-married.
Thirty daily readings that will inspire writers to hit their daily word count.
A step-by-step guide that shows you how to write a devotional book.
A collection of 30 heartfelt coffee shop essays about love, loss, loneliness, and a deep need for connection.
Slow down this Christmas and fully experience the season with this 31-day family devotional.
Lee talks to NASCAR drivers and others in the industry to glean spiritual lessons.
This book draws encouraging spiritual truths from the game of golf.
Single Servings offers ninety devotions for single Christians.