I haven’t finished telling you just how grateful I am for the Giants community relations people. I started telling you last time, about the way they got to know my heart and match me with ideal opportunities. They allowed me to represent the Giants, and they also allowed me to represent my passion for teaching and modeling servant leadership.
Community relations personnel don’t have an easy job! Ballplayers have to dedicate themselves first and foremost to being the best and winning games. On top of that, some of us have families. And even after taking all of that into account, there’s just the fact that we’re not all the same. Ballplayers have different abilities and skills when it comes to showing our appreciation for the fans and participating in the community.
A lot of ballplayers don’t have the ability to do the kinds of things that I got to do. It’s not that they don’t have good hearts, because they do. It’s just that they don’t feel comfortable. So they focus in areas where they feel very comfortable, like signing autographs. That’s their way of being part of the community. In other areas they don’t feel as comfortable, and that’s okay. That’s just not them, while I feel comfortable in all areas. I can go where I’m needed, signing autographs, representing the organization, going on speaking engagements, and going into the community to just hang out and talk.
So as long as I had availability, it was relatively easy for the Giants to find things for me to do. I just told them, “I love the community and I love being with people, but my wife’s my first priority. We have three boys at home. These are our three young leaders and I have to serve them first.” The front office understood that and supported me. So they just worked with me! They discussed opportunities, letting me know what they had on deck. They asked me which ones I wanted to be a part of, and after I selected the ones I wanted, then they would work on times and dates. They always scheduled things so that I would have time with my family.
I was able to do stuff at the field too. If it was easier, we’d do community stuff there. I’d get with various groups and organizations on the field before the game, or after, if time was available. The Giants’ community relations people really did everything they could in order to make sure that I was involved in the community in the way that I wanted to be involved, and still be with my family.
It was an awesome relationship. To be able to go out and do all those things that I got to do, and to have the impact that I was able to have, was really exciting. God allowed those doors to be opened to me. I walked through them, and I was excited to walk through them, and I was just so honored to be part of the Giants. I think it was God’s goal the entire time. He just needed to shape me to where I could handle what the Giants could throw at me. That’s because He knew the kind of impact that I could have in that city, and the kind of impact that city was going to have on me. I needed to be ready for it, so that I wouldn’t let it pass before my eyes without even knowing what happened. In the first half of my career, God shaped me for those seven years in San Francisco. He prepared me for impact.
Hopefully He’ll allow me to make an even bigger impact now, in that city, and in different cities, around the country and in the world. You haven’t seen the last of me!
I still have a little more to share about my retirement ceremony. See you Monday.