Hector Santiago has been somewhat of a chameleon throughout his White Sox tenure. In just 56 big league appearances over three seasons, he’s filled literally every role a pitcher can have on a major league roster.
One might think that with all the adjusting needed, it would be hard for a guy like Santiago to find the time or energy to devote himself to anything other than pitching.
However, that’s not the case, as nobody on the White Sox roster reaches out to others quite like Hector.
Santiago did this recently upon hearing about the tornado victims in Oklahoma City, as he and his agent reached out to a church to see what they can do.
The church told Santiago of a family that lost everything in the disaster, and the family was worried their daughter would be unable to start college on time.
So, Hector donated money to the family for school supplies in order for her to start college on time. Here's what he told reporters …
I'm always trying to do something to be able to give back … whatever it is, something small, anything little can help out. I'm always here to help out and make somebody's day a little bit better.
Let’s think about something for a second: how many times do we sit back as fans and talk about how much of sports is money driven? And how often athletes come off as greedy people who only care about the cash?
Hector Santiago is the antithesis of that, and he shows that while sports may have its fair share of arrogant, rich athletes, there are plenty of good guys out there too.
This isn’t the first time Santiago has reached out either.
After the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut last December, Santiago took the time to drive to speak to students at St. Rose of Lima Church, which is near Sandy Hook.
Taking a long, winding road to the major leagues being a 30th round draft pick and growing up in a rough part of Newark, New Jersey made him realize that he should share with these children what it’s like to be in tough times, and how it’s possible to persevere.
Hector Santiago has been a fun guy to watch on the field in his tenure, and has impressed White Sox fans and the coaching staff based on his play and ability to adjust.
While all of that is impressive and fun to follow, what he’s done off the field has been even more fun to keep track of. And that's something that we just can't say often enough.
So on behalf of all those people you have helped out already and will help out in the future, we thank you, Hector.
For more on this topic, check out Jerry Crasnick's outstanding column on ESPN.com.