“By now most of you know I am a man of few words. So putting my thoughts in writing is hard for me. But I owe the City of Baltimore, the Orioles’ organization and most especially the Baltimore Orioles’ fans, a large Thank You.”
So begins a farewell message — in the form of a two-page ad in Wednesday’s Baltimore Sun — from longtime Oriole Nick Markakis.
In his gratitude filled, not-a-goodbye message, Markakis exhibits all of the off-the-field qualities that we are going to miss when he begins playing for the Atlanta Braves next season.
He promised that he and his wife Cristina “have every plan to continue our lives and charitable involvement here.” He thanked owner Peter Angelos and GM Buck Showalter individually. He thanked the coaches. He thanked his teammates. He even had the consideration to thank stadium, clubhouse, and organizational personnel.
Finally, he thanked the fans:
“Having fans is a truly humbling experience. Knowing that people wear your jersey, identify with you and look up to you without knowing you has always been hard for me to grasp, but I’ve learned to accept it and embrace it. I know that it’s easy for someone who doesn’t know me to make assumptions on my thoughts and actions. That’s the price of being a professional athlete and I accept it. I sincerely hope you understand how difficult this is for my family and me.”
No, God, take me instead!
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