For those of you who think we run nothing but anti-A-Rod screed on the Stew, here's a great story about the man himself and Pittsburgh's John Challis, the 18-year-old cancer patient who's been providing us with great lessons about life, courage and maintaining perspective.
With Challis in New York to see a Yankees game on Tuesday, A-Rod went out of his way to make sure that his visit was first class all the way.
A (Challis) family friend got tickets and a hotel reservation was made near Newark Airport. John's father Scott put a call into the Yankees on Monday to tell them John was coming to last night's game against Texas. He wanted to know if anything could be done about getting a ride to the famous ballpark in the Bronx.
No problem, he was told, arrangements were made, and a midtown hotel was reserved. And, by the way, your driver's name is Alex.
On a day Madonna rumors swirled around Alex Rodriguez, the Yankee slugger deftly made his way through a wall of media camped on his Park Avenue doorstep. He had a promise to keep. He had to get John Challis to the game.
A-Rod wasn't the only Major League giving of his time on Tuesday. Here in Chicago, Nick Swisher hosted 8-year-old cancer survivor Adam Bender, who you may have seen playing Little League on only one leg earlier this year. While there are those who will be cynics and say that athletes only do such thing for the publicity and cameras, I will never go down that path. Doing so, I think, shows you're missing the point entirely.
Follow the jump for a great photo of Bender catching Tuesday's first pitch from Swisher.