Bravo, Adam Wainwright.
Minor league baseball players are way, way underpaid. Some of them make as little as $11,000 a year, leading players to file a class-action lawsuit against MLB just so they can make minimum wage. Even at the upper levels, the pay works out to less than minumum wage because players are only paid during the season. So it should come as no surprise that Cardinals prospect Ryan Sherriff couldn’t afford a rental car during spring training.
Sherriff made the 10- to 15-minute walk from his condo to the Cardinals’ facility every day, and walked to run all his errands. This caught the eye of Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, who asked Sherriff if he wanted a bike or a car. Sherriff politely declined, but Wainwright got him a car anyway.
Why a team employee needed his license was never explained until later in the day, when Sherriff’s phone rang. It was, he said, from a St. Louis area code. One of the clubbies was calling to tell him a Nissan Altima rental car had been delivered for him at the ballpark, all expenses paid.
“Waino got me a rental car,” Sherriff explained. “I freaked out a little bit. I started crying. I called my mom, and she started crying. Really, I’ve never had that experience. No one has ever done something so nice for me before.”
Wainwright explained that former Cardinals pitcher Mark Mulder did something similar for him when he first broke in, leaving a box of dress shirts at Wainwright’s locker.
It’s a lovely gesture, but it would be even better if MLB decided to pay its future players a living wage.