In the Footsteps of the Greatest

Jack “Jackie” Roosevelt Robinson was one of the greatest players to play the game and is a very inspiring player to me and many others around the world.  His story is substantial when you go deeper on researching him. Ways that Jackie Robinson is inspiring is being the first African-American player to be in the league after playing in the Negro Leagues for the Kansas City Monarchs, him also being very fast, and athletic and taking pride into what he does best. Baseball. These ways of Jackie Robinson have inspired me but also other African-American players that have been in the league. The first player that comes to mind when I think of Jackie Robinson’s Values is Ken Griffey Jr.

Ken Griffey Jr. is a great player in baseball and shows how all his hard work paid off in his long career. Ken Griffey Jr. is one of the greatest to play baseball, but he also shows a lot of integrity. The ways he shows integrity is by working hard every day, going for every play, and trying his very best to make those plays. When I think of Griffey, I think he is a teamwork player, plays for his team, and builds chemistry with his team, even when he played on the same team with his dad at a certain point. But out of all these traits Ken Griffey is most likely the very best because he has excellence. Throughout his time in the career he had injuries and was getting old in his late years in the league, but he fought through them, still hitting home runs, hitting around 630 home runs for different teams, to be the best version of himself for each of the organizations he has played for.

Ken Griffey Jr. had a great father and was watching him play in the league at a young age. He learned the game based on his dad’s values similarly to how my dad taught me the game of baseball.  Furthermore, where I learn my certain values is from my father and he is the one that gives me the greatest advice for anything that I do. When I write about myself one word that comes to mind is courage. Ways I have courage is knowing a routine for something, or doing simple things such as even holding a door for somebody. Doing the right thing sometimes when you don’t feel like it can be the best thing you can possibly do, like not swinging at a high pitch in baseball because you know what the outcome will be before that moment even happens to you. Something else I have always been taught at a very young age is to have integrity. Having that is powerful to a person because then nobody can talk to you in a manner where they are going to stop you with hateful speech. If you have integrity, then you know phrases such as “you should quit” or “you suck” can’t get in your mindset. These kinds of phrases are always said, but if you remember to have high values in life then those phrases are the least of your worries.

My father’s standards will always follow me throughout my life and will always help me set goals for myself in high school. My goals are a high standard for high school. Like being at a recognizable high school that is good for sports and academics. The biggest benefit of this is the opportunity to be seen as a person that will always be working hard and with a strong mentality. A school like this will have resources like a gym, or batting cages, or tutoring all around to benefit my standards to be the best version of me and to grow as a person. In order to reach my goals in high school, I will need to show determination and excellence because these things will allow me to push forward.

Jackie Robinson could have changed the color barrier history in something other than baseball just like a regular job or other sports. But by doing this in baseball he created a big benefit for himself and his family and the goals he wanted for his career after baseball, achieving benefits such as being known around the world as a substantial, inspirational person.

Gaston Lopez Jr. – Chappell Elementary – Cubs RBI Scholars Class of 2028