Spring is here and Opening Day is just around the corner. Stories abound about Barry Bonds' shape-shifting and other similar tales which have plagued America's past time in the modern era. However, I came across one baseball-related story of inspiration revolving around one of my favorite players of the current era: David Eckstein. Eckstein, all of 5'7", beat the odds just to make it to the majors, let alone to be on two teams that won the World Series and be the 2006 World Series MVP. The story is not about Eckstein directly but rather his family which is plagued by a genetic disease which destroys the kidneys in those that carry the genetic trait. Theirs is a story about perseverance and real family values.
Here is just a taste: "David Eckstein is up next, and he’s filled with familiar anticipation and butterflies. He’s been on-deck thousands of times as a major league ballplayer, a few steps from home plate, waiting his turn. But this is different. He’s ready to donate a kidney because that’s what people with his last name do. He’s been preparing most of his life, and, as with an at-bat, he’s watched others experience it first. Only three months ago, David’s brother Rick, the hitting coach for the Washington Nationals, donated a kidney to their oldest brother, Ken. An entire scorecard of Ecksteins, in fact, has either needed or donated kidneys. Everybody goes under the knife. The current Eckstein box score: Five kidney transplants with six more anticipated. Two family members and a close friend have donated kidneys."