Sometimes my unbridled enthusiasm for all things baseball blinds me from realizing that the very people I am rooting, booing and screaming for are actual human beings — real folks with real problems, real desires, emotions and dreams. Taking a step back, getting to know who these baseball players really are on an individual level can be just as rewarding as watching them perform on the diamond.
And such is the case with St. Louis Cardinals reliever, Trever Miller.
I would be a liar if I didn’t admit to cursing Miller’s name on more than one occasion. While he’s ordinarily a pretty solid solid arm out of the bullpen, there have been times when he got himself in trouble, leaving me throwing things at the television, begging him to go back to Tampa.
For that I am ashamed. And sorry. After all, it is just a game… and the game is there to help us deflect attention from our real world obstacles. Let us never forget that.
Trever Miller is a runner. I found this out recently as he was featured in the March 2011 issue of Runner’s World; and his story is as heartbreaking as it is empowering. As the article reports, Miller began running in the offseason as a way to stay fit, but it soon became a passion. And once he began taking his daughter, Grace, who suffers from a rare chromosomal disorder that has left her paralyzed and mute, on his regular runs by pushing her in a special stroller that weighs 100 pounds, he found that running offered he and his daughter a communal joy that couldn’t be found anywhere else.
As a runner myself, I can relate to that indescribable high that is experienced through the sport. But I will never know the obstacles, the pains, the seemingly insurmountable adversity that Miller and his family have endured in recent years.
Trever Miller is no longer just a baseball player for a team that I love; he’s a guy who loves to run, just like me, a man who has found ways to stay positive despite debilitating setbacks, and he’s a father whose love for his child knows no limit.
He’s a goddamn hero.
That’s what he is.
And for that, I tip my cap.