Too often in sports media we are focused on the off-field arrests and fuckups that bring athletes down to our level. For everything else, the press is wary of it being some PR stunt. But people, it's also possible for athletes to just do nice things for the sake of it. No fanfare.
Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts is in the middle of playing a very solid World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, having gone 3-4 on Wednesday night to help Boston take a 2-0 lead. But that wasn't the only solid that Mookie did for Boston on the day. Knowing full well that it was cold—temperatures in Fenway dropped to the 30s—he decided to celebrate in perhaps the most generous way he could: by providing tray after tray of food for the homeless outside of the Boston Library. No cameras, no PR team on hand—just because he felt it was the right thing to do.
Reporter and former Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni of Boston sports radio WEEI caught word of Mookie's giving act, and posted a photo of the spread:
WEEI's Rob Bradford interviewed Mike Winter, a local night club host, who saw Mookie outside of the library handing out trays with another man, who reportedly was Mookie's cousin:
I didn't know who they were at first. They had hoodies on. Next thing I know they are laying out trays of food. Then they're walking around all of Boston library where there are tons of homeless and telling people there is food around the corner. I walked up and I said, 'Hello,' because we have a mutual friend, and then all the people from the club came out and he just walked away. No pictures. No nothing. None of the homeless even knew who he was, but they were just grateful for what he was doing.
After three-and-a-half hours of grinding it out on a freezing-cold field, Mookie went out and provided warm food for the people who most needed it most. Peace, love and harmony, man:
It's almost enough to make you like Boston for a second. (Sorry—it's just that knee-jerk sports journalistic cynicism again.)