McCutchen just turned 27, and yet somehow he has acquired wisdom and grace that usually go with being much older. He grew up in Fort Meade, Florida and was playing high school baseball - and batting .591 - when he was in 8th grade. He's a naturally great ballplayer.
One of the things I love about kids in America is how they learn to earn what they want. Down in McCutchen's hometown, there is a group of 12-year-old girls who have a softball team, the Mulberry Lady Panthers. Doing the traditional money-raising things, such as bake sales and car washes, the young ladies raised $2,000 for new uniforms and sent the money off to a company here in Maryland (to our shame). They did not receive any uniforms for their money. I can't find a story that says what happened, but the bottom line was, the girls were out the money and had nothing to show for it.
In a move that flies up against the many who say that today's athletes are spoiled selfish oafs, Andrew McCutchen worked with the Nike people to get uniforms for the team on his dime.
Here's what he said:
Sure, he's a big baseball star making millions, but he hasn't lost his place in the lines we all wait in, no matter how rich or poor. I love the fact that the most down-and-out among us are entitled to one vote each, same as the fat cats. And I love it when someone who could just as easily say nothing speaks up.