In the game of baseball, clearly being a fan is not just limited to the ticket paying spectators in the stands. Some of the players are fans of other players, and in this case, Mariners hitter Nelson Cruz is a fan of umpire Joe West. Typically, photos are taken before or after a baseball game. However, when you’re a player who is on the field alongside veterans in the game who you admire, why not take a photo opp when the mood strikes? That is exactly what Nelson Crus did in the middle of the All Star game just before his time to bat during the sixth inning. Joe West is indeed a veteran home plate umpire, who for the most part has seen many hits and misses during his years in baseball. Yet no home run can match up to the look of surprise Joe West had when Nelson Cruz asked for a picture to post on his Instagram page, during the game.
Retrieving his cell phone from a back pocket, Nelson Cruz made it very clear that he was very serious about getting a picture with West at that very moment. Cruz went on to say that, “Joe was definitely freaked out. But after Yadier Molina came out, he agreed right away.” Molina playing freelance photographer at the time captured what appeared to be a very sporadic photo and made the impromptu photoshoot quick and easy as both Nelson Cruz and Joe West posed with a smile. Cruz, later making light of the situation admits, “I told everybody earlier that I was going to do it, and everybody was accepting of it so I went out and did it.” When Nelson Cruz was asked that made him want a photo with Joe West, he responded, “He’s a legend. Everybody knows him around the league and soon he’s going to be the umpire with the most games called.” What a fun and humbling moment in the All Star game this was for both Joe West and Nelson Cruz. Reminiscent of a young baseball fan who finally gets a chance to meet one of his favorite players and truly seizes the moment, Nelson Cruz reminded us all of the kids we are at heart.