Jason Bay

July 17, 2006
July 17, 2006

Table of Contents
July 17, 2006

SI Players: Life On and Off the Field
2006 World Cup
  • In a mad, mad final match, Italy rode its stalwart defense to a fourth championship, while the greatest player of his generation left the field in infamy after a shocking moment of mindless rage

Pro Football

Jason Bay


As told to Ben Reiter

On what Baywatchmeans to him
There's a group of kids who comes to five, six games a year and hangs a bannerthat says JASON BAYWATCH. They wear white T-shirts and red shorts--you know,lifeguard gear. I was a bit of a fan of the show growing up. I liked it for thesame reason everybody liked it: It was a show on the beach in L.A. There werebikinis everywhere. But some of the plotlines were pretty bad, and I'm not asbig a fan of David Hasselhoff as the Germans are.

This is an article from the July 17, 2006 issue Original Layout

On being the NL'ssecond-leading All-Star vote-getter
It's flattering, being in this market with how poorly the team has done. To getall those votes, that's a lot of effort by a lot of people.

On a famoussupporter
My friends were at the Pearl Jam concert in Pittsburgh, and at the end EddieVedder was like, I don't want to get too political, but you guys have a bigelection coming up. You all need to vote for Jason Bay [for the All-Star Game].I have no idea why he said that--I've never met him. Maybe he's a baseball fan.Maybe he knows my wife, Kristen, is from Seattle. I have no idea. I love PearlJam, so that made it doubly special.

On hitting homersin six straight games this season
The seventh game, when I didn't hit a home run, was the only time I foundmyself pressing to hit one. That's the way baseball is--you can't really"try harder" sometimes. After [the streak] was over, it was almost arelief.

On growing up inTrail, B.C. (pop. 8,000)
Hockey-centric. We've got guys in the NHL. Like the Thrashers' Steve McCarthy.My mom works with his mom in the unemployment office in Trail, just the two ofthem. You play hockey--that's what Canadians do. But when I was 11 or 12, Irealized I didn't have to, and I quit. Half the reason I quit is that whenyou're in a town with one rink and you're young, you get bad ice time. You getup at five to skate. That didn't entice me.

On playingbaseball at Gonzaga
When I got there, basketball was huge. It was right when they went to the EliteEight that first year, and the place went basketball crazy. It was an awesometime to be there. The basketball team made it a lot easier to tell people aboutGonzaga. Before the [team's success], nobody even knew Gonzaga was auniversity. When I'd tell someone I went to Gonzaga, they'd be like, What isthat?

On playing forCanada in the 1990 Little League World Series
The best thing was, you're 11 years old and you're playing in front of yourparents and maybe 50 people in the bleachers. Then all of a sudden you go [toWilliamsport], and you're playing in a stadium with 10 or 12 thousand people.At 11, that was the big leagues. I remember thinking, Wow, I can do this for aliving.


PHOTOPhotograph by Michael J. Lebrecht II/1Deuce3 Photography