Humbled: A moment with Jackie Bradley

Pawtucket, RI- Just listening to top Red Sox prospect Jackie Bradley, Jr converse with fans on Saturday was enough to know how genuine he is. His willingness to make eye contact, share a laugh or shake a hand of a fan helped make the day for 800 plus fans at McCoy stadium. Talking to Bradley is no different; he is humble, ready to learn and excited for the season to begin. Bradley sees himself as a valuable commodity to the Red Sox organization because of his “willingness to learn every single day, to train and work hard, and to try to be the best player I can possibly be.”

Jackie Bradley was introduced to the fans in Pawtucket by Boston Red Sox Senior Advisor Jeremy Kapstein. Kapstein had many great things to say about Bradley, but most of what he touched on was Bradley’s character. You can tell that Bradley values hard work. He takes pride in warming up before games by getting good reads on pop flies and he employs a 100% effort rule in the outfield when shagging balls during batting practice. He is most excited to get to Boston and work with Dustin Pedroia, because he too is “a guy who is really well known for his work ethic. I really look forward to looking at him and seeing what he has to enlighten me on.”

This past summer, Bradley was joined by rehabbing Boston Red Sox outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford and Ryan Sweeney for a series in New Hampshire. Bradley said that he spent a lot of time “watching, listening, picking up on their routines and [noting] how their mannerisms were.” The humble Bradley also added that “they are very focused and very professional.”

At the Hot Stove Event in Pawtucket, while many fans were asking for his autograph, Bradley mentioned that he would really like a signed Mariano Rivera jersey for his own collection. While many Red Sox fans may gasp at the fact that a Red Sox player would want a Yankee’s autograph, the reason why makes much more sense than you would think. “As a lot of people know,” Bradley said, “I am a giant Jackie Robinson fan. I am kind of bummed that I won’t get to wear his number 42, so I kind of want a Mariano Rivera jersey since he is the last one to wear the 42 jersey.”

Bradley is such a huge Robinson fan that he tried to get on the “42” Jackie Robinson documentary which will be released some time later this year. Unfortunately, Bradley noted, production for the film had already finished.

The Jackie Robinson fan even has a quote from Robinson on his twitter profile that reads
life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.
And while his career is still green, Jackie Bradley, Jr seems like he lives by the mantra of his hero.

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