Sometimes, sports is the best.
— Ben Reiter (@SI_BenReiter) October 14, 2013
Yes, this is the story of an extremely rich professional athlete taking a moment to thank the fans of a particular city. San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito, who just completed a 7-year, $126 million contract, bid adieu to the city of San Francisco by taking out a full-page ad (click above for the actual photo) to provide considerable thanks to the fans.
Zito’s contract was inescapably bad (and generally regarded as one of the worst of all-time), but no one ever questioned the left-hander’s commitment to baseball, and he threw 1,139 innings in a Giants uniform. His willingness to open up (with significant candor) in this public forum is noble, but the fact that he even acknowledged the fans in this type of way is notable for today’s athlete.
I seriously doubt that anyone in San Francisco will remember the Barry Zito with a particular amount of fondness, at least with regard to baseball performance, but this singular act (which any professional athlete could mimic) will surely improve the light that many people, including myself, view Barry Zito in.