Grady Sizemore should be another strong reminder that the players we root for no matter how amazing they may seem to us–will only temporary diversions in our lives following sports.
A lot of people think the Sizemore era ended this past Monday when the Indians declined to pick up the outfielder’s 2012 option. If that was the official ending, the unofficial ending came many, many moons before. The beginning of the end came May 30th, 2009 against the Yankees in Cleveland. He homered that day off C.C. Sabathia. Let us remember that he had the Indians just a game from the World Series in 2007 after having the series of a lifetime against these same Yankees in the ALDS. Life was good then for Sizemore and Cleveland fans. It seemed then it would have no end.
But after that May 30th day, Sizemore would start to miss significant chunks of time and it would seem his 27 year old body would begin to fail him. At the beginning of September he had season ending surgery on his left elbow. He would play just 33 games the following season–needing micro-fracture surgery on his left knee.
This past season, Sizemore tore up his opposite right knee and had more micro-fracture surgery and added another hernia surgery. Instead of piling up the award hardware, Sizemore’s body became like the childhood board-game ‘Operation’.
If you visited Jacobs Field in Cleveland from 2005 to 2008 and looked out in center field just before your eyes met the picnic area, you would see him. This player was on the cover of Sports Illustrated–and called one of the great players of our generation on that same cover.
I would advise Cleveland to remember the good times. There were many.
The story didn’t have a happy ending and seemed to flame out long before we ever expected like so many figures in sports that have gone before us with seemingly no end in sight. But let’s not forget the four years of stardom and talent that Sizemore gave the fans of this game. For a short time, he was was one of the brightest stars the game had to offer.