Cleveland Indians Pass the Hat to Get Teammate Home for Preemie's Birth

Cleveland IndiansBaseball fans, prepare to switch your allegiances. You may root for your team to win the pennant, but if it's a team that makes sure your premature baby gets the perfect start to life that you're looking for, it's the Cleveland Indians you want. The Wahoos proved the game is as much about brotherhood as base-running this month when they arranged to get third baseman Jack Hannahan to the birth of his baby boy.

And by get him there, I mean when they heard the team's new guy wasn't sure he could afford a flight to be at wife Jenny's bedside as she delivered their son several months early, the guys told him to book a private plane. Then the Indians literally passed the hat around the clubhouse to come up with the $35,000 it would cost for the private flight to get him there in time.

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You always hear about guys putting the team ahead of the family. They spend weeks, months on the road, away from their kids. And when Major League Baseball instituted the paternity leave policy this season that gives guys like Hannahan a chance to be at the birth of their kids, there was a hew and cry. One sports writer even went so far as to criticize a player for taking advantage of it for his second kid -- like it was somehow less important to be there for baby number two than baby number one.

So it's heartwarming to hear that somewhere, people do care as much about the person with the talent as they care about what that talent can do on the field. Jack Hannahan isn't just a guy who plays third base. He's a member of the team, a part of the brotherhood of baseball. And he's a new dad whose wife really needed his support as she went into labor well before their son was due to be born.

If Hannahan hadn't made it, who knows what he would have been worth to the team anyway. Can you imagine? I'd be stressed. And upset. And not much use to my bosses. That's what happens when an employer puts the job before the human being. Fortunately, the Indians aren't like that. Jack Hannahan got to be there when little John Joseph Hannahan V was born. The 2-pound, 11-ounce preemie is doing just fine.

Does this story put a smile on your face?

 

Image via laffy4k/Flickr

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