I recently wrote an article about the signing of Skip Schumaker by the Cincinnati Reds. The article went on to mention both the positives and the negatives of the signing. I left out an interesting aspect, though. Schumaker spent all but half a season (got traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last season) of his career with the Reds rival, the St.Louis Cardinals.
I overlooked that aspect because that’s what we do now in baseball culture. Loyalty is only a word in a dictionary. Money talks. Apparently Ben Franklin can be chatty. But let’s go back to yesteryear when a Cardinal wouldn’t be caught dead in Cincinnati red.
Baseball fans like baseball in part because of the rich history it provides. Gone are the days of true loyalty, but what if that was still the case? We would have never seen Scott Rolen retire in Queen City. Skip would still be looking around. Walt Jocketty sure wouldn’t be in town, making the decisions.
Now sure, I’m not suggesting it was always “blood brother”-esque in baseball. Of course players would move on and play for their rival. Didn’t that Babe guy do it? Oh, shoot. What’s his name?
But our life, our culture follows the philosophy of our sports. Or is it the other way around? Either way, loyalty is no longer expected. Sure, it’s desired but not like it once was. Why do you think cheating is the norm nowadays while respect and loyalty is a suprise?
As for the Schumaker signing, I understand the Red birds traded him to LA last season. They didn’t’ want him anymore, right? He’s not going to go back begging on their doorsteps. But he did willingly sign with Cincinnati when he didn’t have to.
This article isn’t a complaint about Skip. I’m just saying it’s nice to take a step back and reflect on baseball past. Its culture has come so far and has changed so much. Obviously I didn’t live in that era but I wish I would have. Loyalty sounds like a nice quality. I’m sad it’s not as prevalent in the game anymore.