Really quickly… I’ve made no secret of my love of baseball in the past. It’s the only sport I really, truly have followed for my whole life. My team is the Seattle Mariners, since I grew up here, but I may be watching a whole lot more Blue Jays games this spring and summer due to Daniel Norris.
When I first heard about him and his… unconventional approach to the offseason, I mentioned to friends that he may be my new favorite non-Mariners baseball player. After reading this article about him, he may just be my new hero.
Two quotes from the article:
Before the Blue Jays understood his convictions, Norris felt like the team had trouble making sense of his unpredictable life — coaches, teammates and executives asking him questions that indicated a measure of unease. Why, with seven figures in the bank, did he take an offseason job working 40 hours a week at an outdoor outfitter in his hometown of Johnson City, Tennessee? Would it do permanent damage to his back muscles to spend his first minor league season sharing an apartment with two teammates in Florida and sleeping only in a hammock? Why had he decided to spend his first offseason vacationing not on a Caribbean cruise with teammates or partying in South Beach but instead alone in the hostels of Nicaragua, renting a motorcycle for $2 a day, hiking into the jungle, surfing among the stingrays? And was that really a picture on Twitter of the Blue Jays’ best prospect, out again in the woods, shaving his tangled beard with the blade of an ax?
Actually, it looks like he’s shaving with a tomahawk (the picture’s included in the article), but you get the gist. Daniel knows what’s truly important to him, and he’s not afraid to go against convention to achieve it. Priorities, man. He’s got ’em.
Here’s a guy who’s first professional endorsement was for 1% For The Planet, talking about how his life may change if/when he becomes a fixture in the Jays’ rotation:
“What I’ll do, if baseball goes well, is I’ll become even more of an ambassador for the things I really care about,” he says. “I’ll make sure Shaggy’s still running. I’ll pioneer change in how sports thinks about the environment.”
Man, this guy is awesome. Do what’s really important to you, and cut out the rest.