‘It’s time for me to step up’: Cardinals pitcher to be more ‘involved’ in St. Louis community

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By NewsRadio 1120 KMOX

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty is calling himself out for not doing enough. But he's not talking about more strikeouts, fewer walks and a World Series championship for St. Louis – he's talking about making the community he lives in better.

In a new column on The Players' Tribune, Flaherty claims he hasn't "done" enough in 2020 to help make positive change. The third-year MLB pitcher wrote a piece titled "Mamba Year" and says a quote from the late Los Angeles Lakers star and international icon, Kobe Bryant, has inspired him to do more.

"Everything negative — pressure, challenges — is all an opportunity for me to rise," the quote reads. 

Flaherty, who has been outspoken on social media about racial inequality in the U.S. and has worn a Black Lives Matter t-shirt before starts this season, says he believes people haven given up on this year. But he has other plans. 

"If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that every moment we have is important. Every second we have on this earth is precious," Flaherty stated.

“Packing it in and accepting defeat because 2020 has been so rough would be the opposite of what Kobe stood for.”There are 100 days left in 2020. @Jack9Flaherty isn't giving up on this year. And he's asking us all to channel our inner #MambaMentality. https://t.co/QcDFu5Hkiv

— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) September 22, 2020

He says Kobe's death was a chilling reminder of how quickly life can change or end. In a section of the column, he describes what he plans to do next:

I haven’t been maximizing every day. I haven’t been attacking challenges.
I was just kind of cruising along, in a way.
But that approach….
That’s over now.
As corny as it may sound, I now fully understand that, at this point in my life, I want more than anything to do things that will help people out and bring about some positive change in the world.
So that means picking up the phone and getting in touch with the right people in St. Louis to figure out what projects and movements I can help with around town. It’s time for me to step up. This is my third year here. It’s way past time for me to get more involved in the community and do everything I can to assist the people of this incredible city.
Not in a, “Hey look at me!” way. But rather just putting in that work when no one’s around to see it. That’s the plan.

Lucky for Flaherty, he has a mentor close by for help in his future endeavors – teammate and fellow Adam Wainwright. 

The five-time Roberto Clemente Award nominee is one of the most prominent givers in baseball, year after year. He's led or been part of initiatives to support childhood hunger prevention, provide clean water, medical care, and shelter to those in need across the globe, has used Fantasy Football to raise $5.2 million for his charity Big League Impact and earlier this year helped pay for the salaries of some minor leaguers amid the COVID-19 shutdown. 

This custom t-shirt I helped design supports Boys & Girls Clubs of America. It's just for @BankofAmerica customers so get yours and let’s make a difference. #BofApartner @BGCA_Clubs https://t.co/JYkolFIyOI pic.twitter.com/sODum5F3Op

— Jack Flaherty (@Jack9Flaherty) September 13, 2020

Flaherty didn't describe exactly what he plans to do around St. Louis, but if he's anywhere as dedicated to this as he is toward his on-the-field career, we're sure he'll have a Roberto Clemente Award nominee under his belt soon enough.

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