It’s funny how one’s perception of an athlete can be altered by a single incident. This is where I am left this afternoon after learning of Jonny Gomes’ urging of his former Oakland Athletics teammates to donate a playoff share payout to charity. Before today I did not care much for Jonny Gomes or his inability to hit right handed pitching. I don’t like the goofy helmet tip he does between pitches when he’s at-bat, and I really disliked the immaturity he displayed upon hearing the news of Adam Wainwright’s impending elbow surgery in 2011. But today. But today, I am a fan of Jonny Gomes.
The Athletics players were awarded shares of $34,325.16 on Monday. Not quite the $377,002.64 that members of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants will collect, but still enough to make ordinary folk like myself wish I’d spent more hours in the batting cage and less time burning holes in plastic pop bottles as a slightly troubled youth. Which brings me to the story that was first reported by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Slusser indicated via Twitter that the Athletics, at the behest of Gomes, would be donating a full share to charity.
So, while I still think Gomes more resembles a bro that’s likely to look for a bar fight after an abrupt finish to a UFC main event, I can take comfort in the fact that he’s much more selfless than I had unfairly imagined. You go, Jonny Gomes. You’re a good person.