When it comes to picking my favorite players , I have had a rough time over the past few seasons.
To tell you the truth, Since the departure of Paul O'Neill I have had an extremely difficult time finding "my favorite player".
When news broke a few moths back that Cash swindled a deal with the ChiSox and acquired Nick Swisher I was ecstatic.
I always admired the way Swish approached the game of baseball. He seems like he always is excited to live out the dream of millions of youth throughout the world.
If half the players in the major's had a swisher like attitude, baseball would that much better.
When I started to look into Nick Swisher as a person and not the player , I was so impressed and relieved to see that Nick Swisher is not only a good player but a GREAT! person as well.
Last week River Ave Blues , linked a very telling Sweeny Murti article which I will use to show you that Nick Swisher Is a downright great person.
*Established the Nick Swisher Foundation and "Swish's Wishes" foundation in 2007 to assist children with life-threatening illnesses.
*Organized his first Swish's Wishes Celebrity Cruise in January 2009.
*Hosted Swish's Wishes Days in Chicago in 2008, where kids in need would be his guest to the game and visit with him on the field.
*Was a regular visitor at children's hospitals in Chicago.*Supports Lynn Sage Cancer Center in Chicago.
*Dyed his goatee pink on Mother's Day to raise awareness for breast cancer and blue on Father's Day to raise awareness for prostate cancer.
*Provides holiday gifts and a party for mentally challenged children at Janet Pomeroy School in San Francisco.
*Supports UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco, where he served as the honorary chairman for the 2007 Macy's Tree Lighting Ceremony.
*Has also funded programs at the Children's Hospital & Research Center in Oakland and frequently reads books to children in the hospital.
*Teamed with Columbia Pictures in 2007 to host a private screening of the movie "Water Horse: Legend of the Deep" for 400 sick and low-income Bay Area children.
*Participates in Strikeouts for Troops, a non-profit organization that provides assistance to our wounded war veterans and their children by providing "comforts of home" while they recover in military hospitals nationwide.
*Toured U.S. bases in Spain, Greece and Italy on a goodwill mission to visit American soldiers and their families stationed abroad.
*Helped fund two programs for children in need at Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation. *Participated in adopting 25 military families in need and provided Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner as well as Christmas gifts for the children in 2007 and 2008.
*Threw out the first pitch to eight-year-old Adam Bender on 7/1/08 vs. Cleveland… Bender lost his leg to cancer at the age of 1 and was flown from Kentucky to Chicago with his parents, older brother and younger sister by Swisher's foundation to celebrate the one-year anniversary of "Swish's Wishes." Bender plays catcher for his Little League team in Lexington, KY. Swisher provided Bender with a personalized White Sox jersey and a bat autographed by the team.
*In honor of his grandmother, Betty, who lost her battle with cancer in 2005, Nick joined as an ambassador to the EIF Foundation and the Women's Cancer Research Fund.
*Went without a haircut for nearly one year in 2007 as part of the non-profit Pantene Beautiful Lengths program that encourages people to grow, cut and donate their hair to create live hair wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments… his father, Steve, made the "kindest cut of all" on the field in Oakland on 5/19/07, cutting Nick's hair to be donated to the program.
*Also supports childhood diabetes, prostate and breast cancer, and the Special Olympics.
*Was the Athletics' 2007 Roberto Clemente Award nominee.
Here is a particularly telling quote that Sweeny found on Swisher's website.
"I love helping people, especially kids. They are so innocent, full of such hope and wonder. The youth of today truly are our future. I plan to use whatever profile I may have while playing this great game of baseball that I love, to make a difference in the lives of others. Whether it's reading a story to a child in the hospital, visiting with our injured troops, growing out my hair so a wig can be made for a woman dealing with hair loss from chemotherapy, or simply making sure I sign as many autographs as I can - well, this is what drives me. This is who I am."
After reading all of that, I am proud to say that Nick Swisher is my favorite player in baseball, regardless of what he does on the Field.