Josh Donaldson Embodies What Athletics Are All About


Sep 27, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman

Josh Donaldson

(20) reacts as he crosses home plate following his solo home run against the Texas Rangers during a baseball game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret in baseball that Josh Donaldson is a force to be reckoned with. He came in fourth for the MVP vote in 2013 and won over fans by being elected as the starting third baseman in this year’s All-Star Game. Donaldson even stands as the #2 player in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) for position players, only behind that guy, Mike Trout. But when one digs a little deeper they find there is much more than a storied life and career to the MLB player.

Many baseball fans will recall the news stories early in the season that gave us insight into the player’s background. Sports was an escape for the Florida native who showed a natural talent from a very young age. Drafted as a catcher out of college for the Chicago Cubs, the self-transformed third baseman showed a will for success and survival that stood out to his peers and coaches.

Josh Donaldson’s determination has not diminished since those early days with the Athletics when he stepped up to the role of starting third baseman. Donaldson has continued to show Athletics fans, and the baseball world, what he is made of. On Friday night, Josh sprang to the outside of third base for a hard liner. There was a collective cringe as Josh grabbed his knee and floundered in pain. It was hard to watch, but much to the surprise of viewers, Donaldson stayed in the game, even coming through with a hit and a run, limping home for the team.

The A’s went on to win Friday night behind his inspiring performance. Then on Saturday, Josh came through in the first inning with a home run. It’s like the stage had been set, “You don’t think I can do it? Watch me.”

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After seeing the drive and heart that Donaldson played with, one can’t help but draw some comparisons to the team as a whole. Early in the 2014 season the A’s were the front runners. The doubters from the previous two seasons were tired of being proven wrong and conceded to the fact that the Athletics were the team to beat. Similarly, Josh Donaldson was easily voted into the mid-summer classic, the first position player from the Athletics in well over a decade, even being invited to the Home Run Derby, despite the obvious snub from the year before.

The Athletics and Donaldson never let it get to them, rather, they only let it fuel them. Against all odds, the team of “loose” guys won game after game, until, they hit their well-documented rough patch that continued into their most recent heart-wrenching loss, game 161 against the American League worst Texas Rangers.

Many are ready to count the A’s out. But if their third baseman is any indication, you had better hold off on that. Despite being down in visible pain, Josh Donaldson was not out. His teammates and manager remarked that as long as he had legs, he would be out there for the team, no question about it. Watching him hobble around the bases one could not help but feel an insurgence of pride for this man and this team. They may be down, but never count them out.