Lets face it, we all love players who display power, speed and skill, but is there anything more impressive than a player who displays leadership, a good attitude and plays with a smile on his face? For example, Alex Rodriguez, one of the most talented players to ever take a bat, but now a villain in MLB after his bad attitude to the game. Here our my three nicest guys in the MLB.
3. Hunter Pence
Hunter Pence truly sets an example on and off the field for the San Francisco Giants. So much so, in 2013 he won the Willie Mac Award, an award given each year to the Giant who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership shown by McCovey during his career. He played in all 162 games last year and this spring, on an off-day begged Bruce Bochy to let him play, eventually earning himself the DH spot for the day. After being traded from Philadelphia, he instantly enrolled himself as a leader with his inspirational speech during the postseason for the Giants, helping them to win the World Series. Not only did Pence lead the Giants on the field in all key statistics, he truly is the most important personality too.
2. Derek Jeter
New York Yankees icon, Derek Jeter, is almost certainly going to enter the Hall of Fame, and he deserves to. He has been a key man on the field for the Yankees, but also, most importantly, off the field too. A member of the 3000 hit club with numerous All Star Games, Silver Sluggers and Gold Gloves under his belt, Jeter is a great of baseball, however, for me what is more impressive is his attitude, loyalty and leadership. His ability to deal with issues, like when his teammate Alex Rodriguez give ill comments to a magazine about Jeter, are truly applaudable. When he was only a child, Jeter dreamed of being the Yankees shortstop, and nothing else. As he enters his swan song year, after an amazing career, all in the Bronx, the captain will receive the send off he deserves for being one of the greatest guys in baseball.
1. Jim Thome
Jim Thome was the winner of the ‘Sports Illustrated nicest player in the MLB’ as voted by major league players. A true great of many different franchises – especially the Cleveland Indians – and a member of the 600-home-run-club, Thome is vastly considered the most genuine player ever. The sort of guy who doesn’t allow himself to become a celebrity as baseball is all that matters to him. The sort of guy who everyone worships in the clubhouse, a leader for the young players. Jayson Stark of ESPN wrote, “You’d see him walk through the ballpark, and he knew the security guys, the vendors, the season-ticket holders who sat near the on-deck circle and the writers from the little suburban papers he’d never read in his life.” Jim Thome is a true great of baseball, on and off the field, making him the winner of our MVP.