You have to look beyond the highlight reels and witty Twitter posts to understand Logan Morrison's bond with his father. Tom Morrison taught his son all he knew and made headlines when he took a 30-hour train ride while dying of advanced lung cancer to be there when Logan celebrated his 23rd birthday by going 3-5 in a Major League uniform.
"I had a part in that," said Tom, tears falling as he watched Logan round the bases for his first big league triple. Before passing away last December, Tom talked about watching his son's rookie season, saying, "I'm proud of him, and I love him for the way he plays. He's doing everything he can. It's all I can ask. He plays hard; he's done everything I've always asked him to do. He's the perfect kid as far as I'm concerned."
Morrison can't call his father for advice any more, but a father-son tattoo, an old photograph of the two and skyward salutes on the field help him to remember. (ESPN.com)
After growing up as a young baseball card collector, superstar Josh Hamilton is now representing all Major Leaguers as the face of the new Panini America baseball card series.
"From the time I was born, my grandmother bought me a set of baseball cards every year until I graduated high school," said Hamilton. "The cool thing about it is when you first see yourself on a baseball card -- realizing that growing up you looked at the players on these cards, looked at the pictures, you traded them, you stuck them in bicycle wheels. You did all these things that kids do ... [My first card for the 1999 Bowman series] was pretty special. I remember it was just a run-down stadium, and I was on the back of a batting-cage net and had my hand up and bat here. It was kind of corny now that you think about it but awesome at the same time because it was the first time I had ever done that. Now that I am on the cards, it's cool for me to go to different parts of the country in different stadiums and facilities and to have fans bring cards that take me back to my childhood and show me because they know I'm a collector of cards." (Beckett.com)
More than 200 big leaguers were polled, and Pirates pitcher Ross Ohlendorf is officially baseball's valedictorian. Ohlendorf earned the title of "smartest man in baseball," thanks to a Princeton University degree in operations research and financial engineering, a celebrated thesis on the overall return of financial investments in baseball's draft and an offseason study of livestock disease transmission at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (SI.com)
The Brewers' Casey McGehee, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun, LaTroy Hawkins and Prince Fielder are sharing Wisconsin team spirit with pro peers Donald Driver and Aaron Rodgers of the reigning Super Bowl champion Packers. The Packers players are showing their fan support for the crosstown team by wearing Brewers gear, cheering on the Brew Crew at Miller Park and exchanging compliments and friendly debates with their baseball pals via text message.
"It's a pretty special time to be a Wisconsin sports fan," said McGehee. "It's funny how the stars all aligned to have a team that wins the Super Bowl and have a Major League baseball team be successful." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Congratulations to Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino, who was honored with the 2011 Branch Rickey Award for his outstanding contributions to the community and role in setting a strong example for young people. Victorino's foundation has contributed more than $500,000 to Hawaiian charities and spearheaded a program to renovate the Boys & Girls Club of Philadelphia, which was renamed in his honor. For his work, Victorino will be inducted into the Baseball Humanitarians Hall of Fame in November. (The Denver Post)
Dog lover David Price made sure that a figure of his pooch Astro (SI.com) was 'safe at home' during a rainy Rays game (MLB.com). R.A. Dickey won his Twitter bet with Mets teammate Justin Turner (Twitter), Price and Johnny Damon had an impromptu hitting contest with Rays staff (Twitter) and Heath Bell looked good on the golf course... Really good. (Twitter: 1 | 2)
Tweet of the Day: "I'm cleaning out my closet over the next few days. I know there are ppl that are in need. I'm more than willing to drop clothes off. No shoe" -- Orioles center fielder Adam Jones (@SimplyAJ10) showing why he's the 2011 Orioles nominee for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award and the Roberto Clemente Award as a valuable performer both on and off the field.
Quote of the Day: "You could have called me at 3 in the morning, and I would have gotten a cab and drove." -- Dan Johnson, who was called up by the Rays at 7 a.m. and was on a flight from Durham by 10 a.m. (St. Petersburg Times)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.