Joshua Blomgren, DO, a sports medicine physician with Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush University Medical Center, is posting updates from Chicago White Sox spring training in Arizona. Rush is the preferred hospital of the White Sox and home to the team physicians.
Wednesday, March 9: Today was a really special day! The players had a lighter day in terms of workouts, but they had a truly awe-inspiring team meeting that I had the opportunity to sit in on. They were paid a visit by member of Athletes for Hope, an organization whose mission it is “To educate, encourage and assist athletes in their efforts to contribute to community and charitable causes, to increase public awareness of those efforts, and to inspire others to do the same.”
This great organization empowering athletes was founded by Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong, Warrick Dunn, Jeff Gordon, Mia Hamm, Tony Hawk, Andrea Jaeger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning and Cal Ripken, Jr. The members of Athletes for Hope led a group discussion, which was inspiring to me, and it was directed towards professional athletes.
The thing however, that made this a truly special event was that Athletes for Hope was represented by one of its founders, boxing legend Muhammad Ali. He was accompanied by his family and took the time to pose for a photo shoot with the Chicago White Sox team and then pose for individual photos for anyone that wanted, myself included (please see attached photo). This was an unbelievable opportunity, and I feel lucky to have been able to be a part of it.
The afternoon was a day at the ballpark for my family and me. They came with me to Arizona, and we were rooting for the White Sox in the stands as they beat the Colorado Rockies 9-8 at Camelback Ranch. We enjoyed watching the game and soaking up the Arizona sun together as a family.
We enjoyed the Italian ice, stopped for a White Sox t-shirt, and played in the outfield grass. My family then got a tour of the clubhouse and the athletic training room to end out the day.
Tomorrow is the last day of physicals for this spring training as we welcome the minor league position players, about 50 I am told. The day starts at 6 a.m., so I am off to bed. Only two more days of the nice weather and enjoying my first spring training experience.
For more information on Athletes for Hope, the Web site is www.athletesforhope.org.