It's time to pay tribute to Dewayne Wise, a man baseball people refer to as a "journeyman."
Since he reached the major leagues in 2000, Wise has played for the Blue Jays (twice), Braves, Reds, White Sox, Marlins and now the Yankees. In between, he has made minor league stops in places like Toledo, Louisville, Charlotte, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and many smaller towns in between.
To me, it's not fair to label Wise, now 34, as simply a journeyman. To have traveled the baseball roads he's traveled a player has to have passion for the game, confidence that despite not having huge major league talent he can make a contribution on the highest level and, of course, a high degree of persistence.
It's no mystery why I would have a soft spot for Wise and always rooted hard for his success.
As a defensive replacement for the Sox on June 23, 2009, he made arguably the greatest catch in baseball history--certainly one of them--to save Mark Buehrle's perfect game.
Wise played two seasons (2008, 2009) for the Sox primarily as a reserve outfielder and defensive replacement. He played in a big league career high 84 games in '09, tying a personal high of six homers while driving in a high of 18 runs.
Along with "The Catch," Wise enjoyed his greatest success in the 2008 season as he made key contributions to help the Sox win the A.L. title and batted .286 with a homer and five RBIs in the '08 American League Championship Series against Tampa Bay.
Wise entered our baseball conciousness again this weekend as a utility outfielder with the Yankees. And despite being the "enemy" I'm happy to say he's in the middle of a hot streak, which continued yesterday as he went 3 for 3, homered and had a run scoring double in the Yanks' 4-0 victory.
In all, he's on a 7 for 11 stretch with two home runs, a double, a triple, three runs scored and five RBIs in five games. He also realized a dream by pitching (and retiring) two batters when he was called on in the ninth inning of the Sox's blowout win on Friday night.
Dewayne Wise represents all that's good in baseball. He has persisted and good things have happened. It's a lesson for all of us.