WHITESTONE, NY – Mets right fielder Starling Javier Marte gets it! It’s not only his stats, the 33-year-old Dominican born player has been the spark-plug the Mets needed in the lineup. Marte’s numbers speak for themselves. It’s his fan interaction that has the whole right field section in Shea Stadium (it will always be called Shea to me) cheering his every move.
Marte has been through tough times the last few years. His wife Noelia died from a heart attack in 2020. Two years later on May 17th his grandmother, Ponga Brigida, died unexpectedly. She raised him after his mother passed when he was 9.
Marte wears a Mickey Mouse chain around his neck to fend off depression. The chain acts as his shield by putting him in a happy mood. That mood is evident whenever Marte takes his position in right field. He jogs out there with three baseballs in his glove and tosses them to the fans. He’ll then toss his warmup ball into the stands when he completes his throws. This goes on for nine innings. The Shea faithful will cheer his every move as Marte will acknowledge everyone he makes eye contact with. A wave or a thumbs up, and even a tip of the cap puts an automatic smile on the receiving end.
Marte’s adversities have led his mindset to a different outlook in life. On his return to the lineup back in May, after his grandmother’s death, he homered on the first pitch that was delivered to him. It appears as if the fan’s response to his acknowledgements has helped his healing.
Major League Baseball needs to get a clue and promote Marte’s engaging personality. Maybe, just maybe it will spread among the other robotic players in the league, who fail to realize that they are also entertainers.
MLB should also add a Good Guy Award, the way the N.Y. sportswriters honor their own hometown player at their annual writer’s dinner. N.Y. Mets right fielder Starling Javier Marte wins it for me, as I witnessed his good guy display right on the field on numerous occasions.
Speaking of good guys, come back tomorrow for Junoir Blaber, who’ll likely be putting a positive spin on another J-E-T-S loss. In the meantime, drop me a dime below with your thoughts.