Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Pierre leaves mark on not just the Dodgers, but L.A.

You won't find much of Juan Pierre's impact in his overall stat line the past three years, but numbers don't tell the whole story.

 

Pierre, who was traded to the Chicago White Sox Tuesday for two players to be named., symbolized the Dodgers' season when he filled in admirably for Manny Ramirez during his suspension.

 

He endeared himself to Dodger fans with not just big hits but with his work ethic and positive attitude in accepting his role and thriving in it.

 

In a town driven by superstars, it was Pierre who got some of the loudest applause during the season. The fan-driven website JuanPierreWood.com started a successful grassroots campaign selling T-shirts.

 

Few Dodgers made a bigger impact in the clubhouse than Pierre. In spring training, despite being the fourth outfielder, he made a commitment to focus on being prepared to play every day, regardless if he did or not.

 

"You just have a free mind out there, not thinking about stuff you can't control," Pierre told the Sentinel in a May interview. "The only thing I can control is the way I go out there and perform."

 

And he produced when they needed him. He hit .318 with 21 runs batted in and 32 runs scored during Ramirez's 50-game suspension and ended the year batting .308 with 30 steals (fifth in the majors).

 

He relied on his faith to give him peace about his situation - his at-bat music was the gospel hit "God In Me" by Mary Mary - and his quiet strength inspired players around him.

 

It was no surprise that he won the team's Roy Campanella Award as the most inspirational player. Similar to Derek Fisher on the Lakers, Pierre's impact was made by doing the little things and bringing the team together.

 

It's why his last year here was memorable and don't be surprised fans are more sorry to see him go than excited to see Manny coming back.

Category: Baseball


 

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