Down By 10 Runs in the First Inning, The Quincy Gems Showed Some Real Class
If you haven't been out to see the Quincy Gems play this summer time is running out. There is only one remaining home game and that is Saturday when the Gems host the Hannibal Cavemen at Q.U. Stadium. That is also the night the Gems give away the Toyota Yaris to some lucky fan.
I must admit, I have not made it to as many games as I would have liked to this summer, mostly because of other commitments and time restraints on my schedule. But I have certainly enjoyed my time at the games I have made. The Gems have played well and most likely will host a playoff game in the next week when the playoffs begin. Hopefully Quincy will turn out for this team Saturday or in the playoffs.
Being involved with baseball for as long as I have, I find myself watching the game a little bit differently than the average fan does. I was at the ball park this past Sunday on an absolutely beautiful afternoon. I got to my seat just as the first pitch was being thrown. No sooner did I take a breath in the first inning and the score was ten to nothing with the Cavemen of Hannibal jumping out to that insurmountable lead.
The visitors had hit two home runs, a grand slam and a three run homer. They also had a double, two singles, three walks and a hit batsman in that inning. The Gems starting pitcher, John Busiek, was able to record only one out before he was pulled from the game. He allowed four hits, three walks and eight runs in his short stint on the mound. The harder he tried the harder he was getting hit by the Hannibal batters. It was just one of those days that all ball players go through.
While the offensive outburst was happening you could hear the comments from the fans as they were frustrated with the proceedings, as well. Well, it became very obvious that this was not going to be Busiek's day so he was removed from the game for another pitcher.
It was at this point I noticed what many fans most likely missed. Busiek in disgust walked off the mound with his head down and headed for his team's dugout. What happened next was one of the nicest things I have ever seen a team do for a player in all my years of baseball.
To a man, every player (from my vantage point) got out of the dugout and met Busiek in front of the dugout to give him encouragement despite giving up 8 of the ten first inning runs. This young man just had a day he would rather forget but the Gems players, in a show of solidarity, let him know they were still behind him. This, my friends, is what athletics is all about.
It's easy to greet a guy at home plate after a game winning hit but how often do you "see what I just saw" (with all due respect to the late Jack Buck) after a ten running inning has just been put up against you?
Baseball is a classy game but it isn't always played by classy ballplayers. Hats off to the Quincy Gem players for their class act Sunday. As for John Busiek there is always a next game. Keep your head up because it looks like your team has your back.