- Colin E. Braley/AP
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright performed a generous act to help a minor league pitcher get around town.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Wainwright noticed 26-year-old pitching prospect Ryan Sherriff walking around town, making the 10-15-minute walk to practice and to run errands.
Sherriff, like many minor league prospects, does not make much money, so he couldn’t afford a rental car.
Wainwright, who will make $19.5 million this season, according to Spotrac, as part of a five-year, $97 million deal, decided to help Sherriff with a ride after Sherriff turned down Wainwright’s offers for a bike or car.
According to Goold, Sherriff was at first suspicious when the team asked for his license. As it turned out, Wainwright was renting a car in Sherriff’s name and paying for it.
“Why a team employee needed his license was never explained until later in the day, when Sherriff’s phone rang. It was, he said, from a St. Louis area code. One of the clubbies was calling to tell him a Nissan Altima rental car had been delivered for him at the ballpark, all expenses paid.
“‘Waino got me a rental car,’ Sherriff explained. ‘I freaked out a little bit. I started crying. I called my mom, and she started crying. Really, I’ve never had that experience. No one has ever done something so nice for me before.'”
As Sports Illustrated’s Dan Gartland notes, some minor leaguers make as little as $11,000 per year. Getting an expenses-paid-for ride is a big deal.
Wainwright told Goold that he was just “passing on” the kind acts he received as a prospect. Wainwright said a veteran once bought him several shirts so he didn’t have to wear the same shirt each day.
Perhaps the kind gesture by Wainwright will inspire MLB to raise minor leaguers salaries.