Those out there fat-shaming Toronto Blue Jays catching phenom Alejandro Kirk are only shaming themselves.
Kirk may have an atypical body type for a professional athlete, but, then again, baseball is known for its atypical athletic body types. One of the all-time greats in the game, George Herman “Babe” Ruth, (a man of large girth and huge appetite), held Major League Baseball’s single-season home run record of 61 for nearly 40 years on his way to becoming an absolute legend of the game.
Another more recent legend, “Big Papi” David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox, was equally known in his early years in the game for his love of traditional Latino foods as he was for his prowess with a bat. Ortiz finished his career with a .286 batting average, 2,472 hits, and 541 home runs. He was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame this year in his first year of eligibility.
Both Ruth and Ortiz are the role models Kirk should look to as he continues to enjoy success in Toronto and leave any haters where they belong: in the foul cesspit of social media irrelevance.
It boggles the mind that 22 years into the 21st century, people still have to be reminded that bullying is not cool. It’s unfortunate that people can continue to hide facelessly under fake names on social media and feel they have permission to say whatever cruel or ignorant thing they want. It’s ignorant no matter which way you slice it to slag a guy you don’t know, and have never met, on social media just because of his looks.
Kirk isn’t yet what one would call a superstar of the game, but he is having a great All-Star calibre 2022 season with the Jays, riding a .300 batting average all the while fulfilling his catching duties behind the plate impeccably for a team that officially locked down a playoff position last week. He deserves kudos for his on-field performance and not disrespect for his appearance.
But then people underestimating Kirk and overlooking his gifts as a player, solely based on his appearance, is nothing new to the 23-year-old catcher. As a 17-year-old paying his dues in Mexico’s backwater leagues seven years ago, Kirk, despite possessing undeniable skills as a hitter and fielder, was continuously passed over by MLB scouts because of his over-sized appearance.
But then the Blue Jays scouting department came along and saw the diamond in the rough. The team brought Kirk to within reach of the big leagues by signing him, but it was Kirk’s own talent and drive that propelled him into the Show in record time and then into All-Star success in the American League this year.
It is safe to say Kirk will likely be having the last laugh over all the naysayers when he finds himself laughing all the way to the bank when Toronto offers him his next contract extension.