Baseball is a business. The San Diego Padres have made this message clear time and time again by trading top performers and future stars. Over the past decade, fans in San Diego have watched in horror as All-Stars like Jake Peavy, Adrian Gonzalez, Mat Latos, Mike Adams, Anthony Rizzo were traded away for prospects and empty promises. (Granted, Rizzo is the only one on that list who has yet to prove himself but he is showing signs of stardom and he was touted as the future face of the Friars and there were plenty of Rizzo jerseys in the stands the day he got called up)
Nick Hundley probably won’t be mentioned in the same breath as the former Padres I mentioned above.
Nick Hundley probably won’t be missed by most hardcore Padres fans. (Does San Diego even have hardcore Padres fans?)
Nick Hundley probably won’t be known as “the one that got away”.
But, Nick Hundley should be remembered by San Diego fans as one hell of a good guy.
As a lifelong Padres fan, I have a habit of arriving to games early and leaving the ballpark late. It’s a priority every March to make the pilgrimage out to Peoria for Spring Training. I check out Fan Fest and other team sponsored events. I have witnessed just about every player on the roster interacting with the fans at one time or another. Some of the players like to have fun with the fans while others are downright rude. Is it the player’s responsibility to interact with the fans and send some kids home happy? No, not really. But, that’s what makes a player special to the community. The one player that can always be seen interacting with more fans than anyone else on the team
was Nick Hundley.
It’s not in his contract. It’s not in his job description. It’s in his heart.
Nick Hundley took the time to make a difference in San Diego. That’s something that should be admired and respected. Now the man has a chance to make a difference in Baltimore – on and off the field. I, for one, wish him the best of luck in his new clubhouse.
If you have any good Nick Hundley stories, share them below in the comments!