Sunday, June 17, 2012

I Can't Say It Enough

I am proud to be a Mike Nickeas fan.

Right there.

That's it.

That feeling is something nobody can ever take away from me. It's easy to be a fan of a big name player, one that is featured in magazines and on TV. There is nothing easy about rooting for a player most people haven't heard of and one who isn't highly regarded by most of those that have heard of him. But I do my best to not let that bother me. Mike Nickeas is my favorite baseball player no matter what his batting average is or how many home runs he hits.

Rooting for Mike Nickeas is the coolest thing I have ever done. I was completely devoted to following his career through AA to AAA and back to AA to almost being out of baseball and finally to the major leagues. It is one thing to follow Minor League Baseball teams as a whole, it is an entirely different story when you feel attached to one player. Then add in that you know he is there to help others get to the majors and you don't really know if he'll ever make it. Every player takes a different path to the big leagues and Mike's was more unique than ever.

Everything about his career has proven he will never stop working to improve. He has always been known as a defensive catcher but that's not enough. He has to work to be more than just a backstop and he becomes a mentor for the pitchers the Mets see as the future of the organization. He is almost like another coach on the team because he is spending the season in AA yet again and he's older than the rest of the team. But he's still a player and he is still working on his offense because he deserves a chance in the majors.

Mike Nickeas mentored Josh Thole in AA. He helped Josh improve defensively and ultimately watched Josh shoot up to the majors. That makes watching this season with Mike and Josh so much sweeter. Mike's hard work with Josh paid off in 2009 when Josh was called up. Mike's hard work in its entirety paid off first in 2010 when he was called up and then this season when he earned his spot as the backup catcher.

His stats aren't flashy. His spot on the depth chart is nothing to brag about. But his work-ethic is second to none. That is what I love. I will never be able to compare my success to superstar players because they are the best at what they do. I hope I'll be able to say I worked as hard and put in as much effort as Mike Nickeas, though. Then I'll know I've succeeded.

The Mets backup catcher is my favorite player. It doesn't sound flashy. It almost sounds desperate. Yet, it is also perfect.

Mike Nickeas is my idol.

That is all.

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