Dan Uggla, the “Smoking Hot” All-Star

Last night as my wife was driving me and our children home from the Colonnade, an Atlanta landmark restaurant for the past 85 years, one of our children noticed Dan Ugggla sitting on the outside patio of a neighborhood bar/restaurant. Our son, an avid MLB baseball fan, and a rather accomplished little ball player himself, seems to know the faces of many MLB players, especially the Atlanta Braves.
 
The first time he noticed Mr. Uggla outside of the “Ted” was at a Japanese restaurant in Vinings on Memorial Day. Mr. Uggla sat across from my family at the same grill, along with his 2 children and a lady friend. He wore his “Air Jordan” baseball cap backwards, and appeared to be a loving father with his 2 children on a typical night out. We didn’t bother him that night as I preferred for him to bother me, if he had recognized me the same way.
 
But last night was a little different…..
 
When our 12 year old son noticed Mr. Uggla sitting on the patio outside at this local bar/restaurant, he had his same “Air Jordan” baseball cap turned around backwards, ……and he was alone……so I rolled down the window as we were stopped at the traffic light, and I hollered, “hey (Dan) Uggla”, and then he looked over at us and waved…….as he blew the cigarette smoke from his mouth in a pucker motion as if he was a rookie smoker.
 
By this time, the talk in our car from our children was astonishing, they were wondering why a professional athlete was smoking.
 
I then hollered to Mr. Uggla, “you smoking?”, he looked again at our car, with both front and rear passenger windows down and a backseat full of kids visible; he truthfully nodded with, perhaps a bit of embarrassment.
 
I couldn’t help myself, so I said, “c’mon, in front of kids?”, again he truthfully nodded and waived with his cigarette in hand; as the traffic light turned green, we slowly drove away.
 
I can’t help but be judgemental about a professional athlete, who makes a living by fan approval, smoking in public, especially where kids can view this role model. I can’t help but remember the multitude of errors that this Atlanta Braves All Star second baseman has made, including his day dreaming one where he had just forgotten to cover second base when a ball was hit to the shortstop a couple of months ago. My daughter reminded me of that one when she asked, “Is that the guy who was day dreaming and forgot to cover second base when the shortstop threw it to second base and nobody was there?”
 
“That’s him,” I said. As my wife turned the radio volume lower, I seized this learning opportunity for our children and spat out my favorite quote…….
 
“When a baseball player makes an error, it goes into the record and is published.
How many of us could stand this sort of daily scrutiny or are willing to admit an error before we are called on it?
Most of us are protective and defensive, from the chiefs of staff, to the janitor’s assistant.
Our aim is not to do right, so much as it is not to be perceived as doing wrong.
Yet all of the decisive people in the world have made waves, and sometimes they have been swamped by them.
But no waves, no progress, and the only way to avoid mistakes is to be totally passive, which is to say dead.
You won’t get much blame that way, nor will you get anything else.”
 
Manny Fialkow
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10 Responses to Dan Uggla, the “Smoking Hot” All-Star

  1. David Alexander says:

    Well said. Thanks for sharing.
    Let the waves roll and learn the currents.

  2. Elaine Abrams says:

    Great lesson for your children to learn the heros have clay feet. They don’t always set the example, by setting the bar a little higher. Elaine

  3. Dustin says:

    If he was hitting his weight I would not care

  4. Faye says:

    I am going to quote you on this, “But no waves, no progress, and the only way to avoid mistakes is to be totally passive, which is to say dead.
    You won’t get much blame that way, nor will you get anything else.” It really sums it up nicely. My motto, don’t be afraid to speak up and always try and do the right thing. It will usually (but not always) keep you out of trouble. Thanks for sharing.
    xo

  5. Mark Bell says:

    Mistakes are the most valuable lessons we learn in life, the courage and persistence toovercome them is the key to personal growth

  6. Well written…….Sometimes we don’t realize the positive/negative impact we have on others until someone brings it to our attention. How humbling…… When we make errors the goal is to learn and do better…..

  7. Stan Beiner says:

    You hit a chord and set an example for your own kids. People in public positions take on a responsibility.

  8. mitchell brannen says:

    All good observations! Lots of good take aways. We all have faults, and am just glad I am not being watched and under a professional athletes fan scrutiny every day.

  9. David Updike says:

    “Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

    • long time no see says:

      It’s just after 3 am and I woke up because there is a Mary Jane stuck between my back hair and the sheets–

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