I've spoken at length before about the potential impact Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury could have for American Indians, and what that could do for Major League Baseball. At this stage in his career, maybe it is best just to sit back and enjoy the excitement he brings to the baseball field, and I'm fine with anyone who cautions against placing unrealistic social pressures on a 24-year old--or any athlete, for that matter.Still, there's already evidence to show that his success has been felt well outside the boundaries of "Red Sox Nation." Via Surviving Grady comes this [somewhat] moving story on Jacoby Ellsbury's victorious return to his hometown of Madras, Oregon. Located near a reservation for the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs--where his mom is a special-ed teacher--it has a heavy Native American presence and Ellsbury was treated with a hero's welcome:
Ellsbury won't get his World Series ring until opening day in Fenway, but the Eagle Thunder drumming group played an honor song and Delvis Heath of the Warm Springs tribes, wearing an eagle feather headdress, beaded vest and leather gauntlets, presented him with a beaded medallion depicting a baseball batter that said, "World Series 2007." Ellsbury draped it over his neck. "We are all proud of you in Indian Country," Heath said to cheers. Ellsbury wiped away a tear as Madras Mayor Jason Hale proclaimed it Jacoby Ellsbury Day...Say what you will about the Red Sox's success, but that is an awesome scene.