A Job Like No Other – Brandon Belt
Last night’s game was a blast. It’s a great feeling when you can come through when the team really needs something to happen. We haven’t been very good so far this season in driving runners home, so getting the double to put us ahead gives you a boost that you hope carries over.
A fan left a comment on the blog asking about my and Crawford’s experiences with the fans. So we’re both answering.
Like a lot of ballplayers, I idolized the major leaguers when I was growing up. It almost seems that there’s something in kids’ brains that’s programmed to look up to athletes. Because I remember how it was for me, I sign autographs as much as I can, though we don’t always have as much time at the park as fans might think we do. There’s a lot of stuff we have to do to get ready for every game. But I never want the fans to think I don’t appreciate them coming out and supporting us. So I try to do at least something every game to show that.
When I’m signing autographs, it’s nice to chat with people They ask me if I like my “Baby Giraffe’’ nickname. (I do). They ask how I’m feeling, and I try to be honest. These days I tell them I’m feeling pretty good, but sometimes it’s a battle up there at the plate and you have to work things through. Sometimes people tell me not to worry about playing time and just keep doing what I’m doing.
Seriously, how many people have jobs where thousands of people are cheering you on and patting you on the back and making you feel like you’re really something special? I hope I can always appreciate how lucky I am.
Of course, there’s the flip side, too. It’s a public job so you can become a target of criticism. But here in San Francisco, the fans are incredibly supportive so I haven’t experienced the downside yet. Everyone has been really nice.
All of us get fan mail. Guys like Buster and Timmy get armloads. I have a little stack. But even with my little stack I procrastinate answering them. When the stack gets a little too high, I sit in front of my locker and answer. I received a really nice and unusual letter the other day. It was from a lady who just wanted to say she enjoyed watching me play and she liked the Giants. I almost never get letters like that. Just about every envelope has a card or photo to sign and send back. So that was a nice change.
Tomorrow, Monday, is a rare day off here at home. Haley and I are going back to Napa, which we went at the end of last season. I’m not a wine guy so I wasn’t looking forward to going, but then I loved it. It was one of my favorite days of the year. So we’re going back. We’ll eat at my friend’s brother’s restaurant, Il Posto, and spend the night. Tuesday is a night game so we can sleep in.
Then it’s back to the park and the Florida Marlins.
Hope to see you out there!
Please leave your questions in the comments section — makes it easier for me to think about what to write!