PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 11: American League All-Star Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees hugs American League All-Star Adrian Gonzalez #28 of the Boston Red Sox during the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby at Chase Field on July 11, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Bob Nightengale's article tells the tale of an unknown baseball player who rose from the obscurity of a small Podunk town on the West Coast to play in the greatest baseball city the universe has ever known. Since then he's become wealthy and famous and he could be even more wealthy and more famous if he wanted to be, but he's a very humble person and doesn't have a need for material things.
As he lounges in his private jet en route to the All Star game he reminisces about his humble beginnings:
"I can say things are different now," Gonzalez says, breaking into a slow grin. "Real different."
"He went from planes, trains, boats and automobiles when he was with the Padres," says John Boggs, Gonzalez's agent, "to traveling in luxury. He's loving it."
Even though fans on the East Coast don't even watch games taking place on the West Coast, some how they're the better fans.
You hit for big numbers in San Diego, and a nation yawns, most of it asleep by the time the West Coast games end. You put up big numbers in Boston or New York, and you're immortalized.
This is a great narrative, a real life rags to riches story. Who doesn't want to root for the guy who has everything?