The Players’ Tribune, a site backed by former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (among others), provides a place for professional athletes to give their own accounts of things that are meaningful to them.
For these stories, the player is interviewed by a professional writer/editor, who then puts the player’s thoughts into words. Here’s how it works, as Richard Sandomir of the New York Times wrote about a David Ortiz post last year:
Like nearly every post on the site, the Ortiz essay was not written directly by its bylined athlete but instead crafted from a recorded interview with a Tribune staff producer. Hoenig said these interviews are less traditional question-and-answer sessions than monologues with questions to nudge the conversation along. Editing is minimal, he added, and the athletes get the final approval. The staff producers who talk to them do not get bylines.
With that in mind, I present this post by Dexter Fowler today on the Players’ Tribune. Here are a couple of significant quotes from the article, first, on Dex’s leadoff home run:
When I looked out toward center and saw Rajai going back, I noticed that he kind of flinched when he reached the wall, and that he was getting ready to jump.
That’s when I knew it was gone. And, you know, the rest is history … cue the spin move and the backwards running.
After I turned myself around, and as I was rounding second, I just kept thinking….
Did that really happen?
Did I really just go deep in Game 7?
I remember looking over at the dugout and just seeing everyone going nuts. I could hear Cubs fans in the crowd celebrating, but even over the noise, I remember hearing my teammates yelling, “You go, we go!” — guys just screaming that out.
“You go, we go! You go, we go! You go, we go!” That’s all I heard. Again and again.
And on the rain-delay meeting called by Jason Heyward:
He saw that there were a lot of emotions swirling for us, and he said what needed to be said: We’ve come too far to let it slip away like this. We’re the better team. So let’s turn up and just go out and play like we know how.
It wasn’t anything we hadn’t heard before, but it was something that we needed to hear at that exact moment. And it was how he said it that really had an impact. You could see it in his eyes, you could hear it in his voice. It was really something. I’ll never forget it.
After J-Hey spoke, everyone sort of chimed in and everything just seemed to snowball in a really positive way. Rossy spoke a little bit. Then Riz said something. Then I spoke up. And all of a sudden we were rolling again.
We couldn’t get out of that clubhouse and onto the field fast enough.
Players’ Tribune articles are generally fun reads, giving great insight into the player’s thoughts. This one is no exception. Go check it out. It’s also got a couple of photos that you likely haven’t seen anywhere else, taken during the parade and rally.
And again, I very much hope the Cubs find a way to keep Dexter Fowler.