With Bonds getting most focus from baseball fans these days, two stories from the past few days deserve more attention. First, Jon Lester’s return to the mound after beating cancer and second, Craig Biggio’s retirement announcement. Lester’s story is inspirational and should motivate other people, child or adult, to fight against cancer as hard as they can. As Biggio ends his career, he can only be seen as the ultimate professional, the perfect teammate, and a community leader. If only these stories could overshadow Bonds and the circus of media that follows.
Lester was diagnosed with a form of cancer known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma on August 23rd of last year. Since then, he has successfully conquered the long road back to the major leagues, from chemotherapy to half a year at Triple A. Last night’s start, his first start in the majors since the diagnosis, was a moment he will never forget and his family will never forget. That first pitch was a moment that should have gained more publicity from ESPN. They have live cut-ins to every Bonds at bat, but can’t show one pitch from Lester. Even though it wasn’t covered by ESPN, Lester still made his start and shined in it. The Sox batters even provided support for Lester before he took the mound, putting a four spot up in the top of the first. Lester completed the hardest comeback possible, defeating cancer, and now he is finally back in the major leagues, striking out batters and racking up wins.
Biggio has never been shone in a negative light once in his career. He has never left the Houston Astros for money. He never has even left the Astros, playing his entire twenty year career there. Think about that for a second. Twenty years on one team is remarkable enough, but when you think about the fact that Biggio is a former all star who could have easily left town for more money. The Astros don’t have unlimited funds, but Biggio was fine with the contracts they offered. Yet, Biggio’s achievements don’t end on the field. He was a leader and spokesman for the Sunshine Kids Foundation. He has raised more than one million dollars for the foundation through charity golf tournaments, his own “Biggio Party”, and donations.