Daddy's Christmas Angel

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Jimmy We Loved You, Goodbye

"Jimmy We Loved You" copyright MMSikes
Jim Edmonds, my favorite St. Louis Cardinals player ever, has retired. I'm saddened and disappointed because he recently signed a minor league contract with the team and planned to come to spring training this year. Then his injured ankle didn't heal properly. He decided not to take a chance with it and announced his retirement last Friday.

For my writer friends, this is not just a baseball story. This is a story of doing what you love with focus and with passion. That's the way Edmonds played the game of baseball. He chased down fly balls, leaped over fences, and dove for balls he didn't have to. He was spectacular. He brought excitement to every game he played in. He was "Jimmy Ballgame." Several years ago, to add a little spark to the team, he decided to give a game ball to the team's best player following every game. He was that kind of leader in the club house.

If his fielding wasn't special enough to make Jim Edmonds a great baseball player, his hitting was sensational as well. He was a clutch hitter, and he was only seven home runs away from having 400--a level few players ever reach.

Five or six years ago, the last time Edmonds came to spring training with the Cardinals, I was thrilled to watch him practice and play in exhibition games. He signed an autograph for me on a ticket cover which was the only thing I had with me at that moment. That spring, I took lots of photographs of him and of the team.

Three years ago, he wound up playing a few months with the Chicago Cubs. I was horrified and created the collage, "Jimmy We Loved You, Goodbye," using one of the photographs I took in 2006.

Having Jim Edmonds at spring training one more time was something I really looked forward to. I wanted to see his passionate determination showing up one more time in a Cardinals uniform.

Thinking about his passion, focus, and determination has made me consider what makes a writer and/or an artist special. Those same traits stand out. The most successful creative people I know are focused, determined, and they show passion in their work.

Jimmy, we loved you. Maybe someday we'll see you once again in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform. And maybe you'll be wearing the number 15. It's a number that no other Cardinal should wear.

Please note that on Monday February 21, I am guest blogger on Dames of Dialogue. My post is on travel to spring training in Jupiter, FL. Please visit that day and make a comment.


N. R. Williams said...

I'm not sure what to say, Monti. Sports is not my thing. But I do understand drive, determination and the need to share our passion.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks, Nancy, for your comment. Great writers have passion!

Daisy Hickman said...

A Cardinals fan in our midst! My son was a HUGE Cardinals fan, and my sister and her family (Memphis) often go to FL to watch spring training. (You might like Lisa's book, btw, Monti. It's at the top of my Books & Authors page in SRS ... well, connections, you know!)

And we lived in ST. Louis for about 3 years and my husband made it to a couple of games! Interesting points of connection ... take care, my friend. --Daisy

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

I knew you had lived in St. Louis but didn't know about the Cardinals connection! We love spring training. Is your sister going this year? I'll check on her book.

Thanks so much for commenting!

Daisy Hickman said...

Don't know if they're going to training or not this year, Monti. Lisa is on FB via Lisa C. Hickman, but she's working on another book so rarely checks in. GO Cardinals!