Catching up with Dave Dravecky

Here’s an article catching up with former Giant Dave Dravecky.

I don’t subscribe to the religious views he does and I have about three hours worth of rants about the motivational speaking circuit in which he now earns his living, but none of that really matters. What matters is that when I was 16 I saw Dravecky mount perhaps the bravest, most inspiring performance I’ll ever witness on an athletic field, and five days later I saw him fall in perhaps the most heartbreaking moments I’ll ever witness on an athletic field.

Hard to believe that was 20 years ago.

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Comments

  1. lar said...

    Good work, Craig.

    As for Dravecky: I must’ve been 8 years old when this happened, so I don’t remember knowing about it when it happened. But I remember learning about it a short while later. It’s an incredible story, in both its high and its lows. I can’t imagine what someone would think in that situation, but you have to stand up and applaud the man for being brave enough to go through what he did.

    When you hear some of the other remarkable stories in baseball – Jim Abbott, Jon Lester’s return from cancer, etc – it’s kind of easy to get desensitized to the excitement of it all. Seeing world-class athletes achieve so much and then hearing another story about someone got there… it can all bleed together in a “wow, those guys are good” sentiment.

    But when you see something like Dravecky’s story and how he had his comeback taken away from him so graphically on the field, in front of thousands of eyes, it helps you remember that not all of them succeed and that some of them have to get past a lot of obstacles to get to where they are.

    Oh, and you’re right… 20 years ago now?! wow.

    (for anyone who wants to see what happened to Dravecky, check out this video (at the 2:20 mark or so). There’s nothing technically graphic about it, but, man, it certainly makes you feel uncomfortable.

  2. MR said...

    I don’t see the need to comment on his religious views. You can respect someone without agreeing with them on everything. I think the mention you give borders on disrespectful. Both to Dravecky and people who share his faith.

  3. Craig Calcaterra said...

    MR,

    My statement that I don’t share his views was not meant as criticism or disrespect. It was purely informational. The whole purpose was to make it clear that my basis for finding inspiration in Dravecky was based on what happened in his baseball life as opposed to what he’s done since then. I felt that clarification was necessary because the article was mostly about his relgious/motivational life.

    As for the point about respecting someone without agreeing with them, if anything, I think that’s pretty clearly my point.

  4. Splint Chesthair said...

    I was hoping to read about some bizarre baby-killing cult Dravecky had joined but that article had pretty tame and general religious talk and a small portion at that.  I agree it being odd to point out disagreement with it. 

    That motivational stuff though, yeah, I hate it when work holds those.

  5. BillyBeaneismyHero said...

    MR –

    I think Craig was being sincere.  If Dravecky has a right to talk about his views, why can’t Craig talk about his views IN HIS BLOG!  That’s the crazy thing about religion.  It’s cool to talk about it, as long as everyone else agrees with you.  If someone disagrees with your views, they’re attacking you.  That’s exactly the anti-intellectual ideals that harm this country from moving forward and past their differences.  Everyone has their right to an opinion.

    BBIMH

  6. tadthebad said...

    Just watched the video.  My memory ain’t what it used to be, but I seem to remember a follow-up story in SI some time after Dravecky broke his arm, and I distinctly remember a picture of him in a pool, throwing one of his kids in the air with his right hand.  Of course, he didn’t have a left hand by that time.  At least, I think that was Dravecky.

    Funny how the mind works: couldn’t remember his name or the story, but I remember that picture.

  7. Mike Green said...

    Back in the day, Eric Show,  Dravecky and Mark Thurmond were reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune to be members of the John Birch Society.  That may not have the sting in 2009 that it did in 1984.  Bill James had some things to say about it at the time, and its affect on the black players on the team.

    That, of course, was much before the cancer that struck Dravecky.

  8. Floyd said...

    Craig:

    Don’t worry about MR. Whether you are Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, or atheist, all that really matters is that you love Jesus. And we know you do.

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