Chris Archer

Chris Archer is the latest athlete to open up for Derek Jeter’s “The Players’ Tribune.”

Jeter’s website is a place where, in theory*, athletes get to open up about whatever they choose and not worry about being misquoted or having comments taken out of context.

Archer’s column is about his “Personal Legend,” a concept he picked up from the book “The Alchemist.” After opening up about his unconventional upbringing, Archer explains that he was inspired by his parents to help as many kids as possible.

“The Alchemist is about having a Personal Legend, which is basically your legacy — something with a meaning that goes beyond surface level in your life — and the journey to discover it and live it. The book challenged me to search for the Personal Legend within myself and to find out what my true purpose is .. I thought about my parents. I thought about how blessed I’d been and how easily it could have been a different story, and I knew right away that my Personal Legend and my purpose was to pay it forward and to positively impact as many lives as possible … And now that I was in the major leagues, I had an even bigger platform from which to do it.”

Big Tree goes on to talk about some of the projects he is involved with. He also writes about winning the Community Service Award  and how it is not a one-way street, how the kids impact his life as much as he impacts theirs.

Unfortunately, this is where Archer rubs people the wrong way at times. To some, this column is going to sound like a “Look at me and all the good things I do, I’m awesome!” piece. This will make the piece come off as less genuine than the noble efforts of some athletes who do the same things without bringing attention to them.

To that, I have two thoughts: 1) Most Rays fans that have heard and seen Archer enough, know this is just who he is. He is not seeking attention, he is just an open book, so to speak. He speaks openly and honestly about anything and everything. This is a big part of his life and he is open about it as much as he is open about nights when he is dominant and he can point to having a great fastball or slider; 2) Even if this is Archer’s attention grab, there are many worse things that rich, famous athletes do and say to grab attention. If Archer is seeking attention I would rather he do it with things like visiting kids in hospitals and juvenile centers than getting into brawls at nightclubs with his entourage.

And maybe by writing about his Personal Legend it will encourage more athletes to take Archer’s path. How is that a bad thing? It’s not.

You can read the entire column at The Players’ Tribune.

In reality, that is only partially true as most (all?) of the pieces are still written by having an unnamed staffer interview the athlete over the phone and write the column for the athlete without any credit.

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8 Comments

  1. Greg says:

    Unless someone already dislikes Archer, I would suspect most people would see the piece as an effort to influence others to give of their time and help kids. And I can see how you would develop confidence to the point of being called "brash" in order to play baseball at the Major League level. So I have no problem reconciling his on-field cockiness with his off-field generosity. Good kid.

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  2. Charles says:

    You know what's funny, I did get a "hey, look at me!" vibe from the column, but not in the negative way implied. It was more like "hey, look at me! you could be doing this too!" - because really, what he's doing at a basic level is something any one of us could be doing. We may not have the platform or celebrity or even money that he has, but there's someone somewhere that could benefit from the time, knowledge, or even just friendship that we do have to offer.

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  3. Rob says:

    Who is it rubbing the wrong way?

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  4. Brent says:

    Archer is just being an "open book". We usually never hear players talk about what they eat, but a couple weeks ago when Chris said he ate salmon & kale before the game that night, it's like saying he was gloating about eating good food...

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  5. Gus says:

    You have to be a pretty cynical cat to be rubbed the wrong way by that piece. Archer is an enjoyable character. The fact that he reads and isn't shy about reading alone makes him remarkable by MLB standards.

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