4 October 2015, AT&T Park, San Francisco, USA
This speech was delivered before Jeremy Affeldt pitched his last game for San Francisco Giants against Colorado Rockies.
It is so important for dad’s to encourage their sons and tell them that they’re proud of them.
When I was twelve years old in the Oakland Coliseum, and I looked at my dad and I said ‘dad I’m going to play here one day’, and my dad patted me on the head and said, ‘go for it kid’.
And I was twenty-two years of age, and I walked through that centre field fence, and I got on my cell phone and I called my dad, and I said, ‘Dad, do you know where I’m at?’ and he said, ‘yeah you’re in Oakland’.
I said, ‘Dad, I can see the seats we were sitting in when I told you I was going to play here. And I pitch tonight in Oakland’.
And my dad hung up the phone on me.
And I called my mom, and my mom answered, andI said, ‘what happened?’ and she said, ‘you’re dad’s crying.’
Later in the year you got to see me live in Safe Co, pitch in Seattle, and bases loaded and Mike Cain went up and it was a 3-2 count, and I struck him out, and my mom said my dad was yelling all over the stadium, ‘that’s my boy!’
To my bride. Girl, I love you. You know what that say, it’s my career. They say I’m retiring. They say congratulations to a great career, but it is not my career, and I’ll stand boldly before all of these men, and all of these people here today, and I will tell you this -- that it is not my career, it’s our career.
And you’ve been with me all the way from A-ball, to fourteen years in the major leagues. And I remember wanting to quit so many times, and I remember sitting on the counter in Kansas City, and I wanted to walk away from the game, and you looking me in my eyes, and you reminding me who I was, ‘cause I needed that.
And there are so many times in this game when I felt so alone, and I felt so ashamed of not doing well, and you, baby, you reminded me who I was, and I can’t thank you enough, for being who you’ve been to me, and the strength that I needed.
And to my boys ... man daddy’s coming home! Daddy gets to be home a lot more often.
And now you know about some of my other family ... my teammates.
I can’t do what I’ve done without them, and I’ve already said that, and I can’t name every one of them by name. But I truly love every single one of you, and I’ve really loved my time here.
But there are two that I can truly tell you ... I believe that there are friends that are closer than brothers. And I’ve got two on this team, that I can truly say that about -- Matt Cain and Buster Posey
I appreciate the road trips, I appreciate the times that we got to talk. I appreciate being able to meet your family, and know who you are, as men, and husbands, not just baseball players.
To Bruce Bochy -- man I can’t say enough about you.
Honestly they call these head coaches in major league baseball , they call em managers, but man, through all my experience of learning from a lot of leaders, you manage things and you lead people. And I truly believe that you led people.
So I know we call you managers but you’re one of the greatest leaders of men that I’ve ever met.
And finally to all of you ... the fans, man, talk about a family. You’ve been there, win or lose, day in or day out. You and the city have truly changed me.
And I’m gonna return home to Spocan, but I can promise you, I’m never going to leave this city.
And my son told me this morning, ‘he said Daddy I don’t want you to retire,’ and i said, ‘too late buddy I already announced it’.
And he said, ‘I don’t want you to retire because I’ m gonna miss coming across the Bay Bridge’.
And I said, ‘I’m gonnna miss coming across the Bay Bridge too, because when I see this place, I feel safe’.
Thank you San Francisco. Thank you for a very good seven years. I appreciate you all.