I will never forget opening up my Twitter Direct Messages to find a message from the Cleveland Indians telling me I had won a Jim Thome Prize Pack and a Tyler Naquin signed baseball. I was the giddiest girl in the world when I read the message. As soon as I got the text message from my sister that my package came, I was beyond elated. Getting a Christmas present from one of your favorite professional sports teams is a wonderful way to end fall semester finals. Change my mind. Because of that gift, Tyler Naquin has become my favorite player for Cleveland.
I have a huge crush on Tyler Naquin. He has a big beautiful smile that just makes my heart melt. He has piercing brown eyes that are more enticing that a batch of chocolate frosted brownies with Hershey kisses all over the top. That stud sandwich has strong, beautifully tattooed biceps that look perfect for hugging teammates, family, friends, fans, and puppies. Adding on to that, his beard and voice are reasons to swoon every time I look at his sugar sweet face.
Tyler is a pretty talented player, in my opinion. In 806 career at-bats, the left-handed batting, right-handing throwing outfielder has enjoyed 228 hits, 27 home runs, 112 runs, 101 runs batted in, and 11 stolen bases. In my opinion, Tyler has an opportunity to have a big breakout season. I have a feeling that he will end up with 234 career home runs, 45 stolen bases, 713 runs batted in, and 800 career runs. Oddly specific, I know. However, I still have a plethora of faith in him.
He has also performed well during his time at Klein Collins High School in suburban Houston. In addition to lettering in baseball for three years, he was a two-time All-State honor recipient, a three-time All-District recipient, and a three-time All-Greater Houston recipient. Absolutely awesome. If I had a teammate like that, I’d be bragging to my friends in the hallway, acquaintances at the lunch table, and my family members over Zoom calls.
Something that really stands out about Tyler is his friendship with his teammate Bradley Zimmer. In an interview during Player’s Weekend 2019, he was describing how he got the nickname Billy. Tyler implied that Bradley, known as Zim, was one of his best friends and favorite teammates. It was Zim laughing at the nickname that inspired Tyler to go with it. That’s how I feel about some of the students on the varsity boys’ basketball team at my high school. I am extremely close with them and they were some of my very closest friends in high school (and that’s saying a lot since I was the kind of girl at my school who could get on pretty much anybody’s good side!).
The most iconic moment of his career, at least from my perspective, was his August 2016 inside-the-park game-winning home run against Toronto. After being down two runs to one, Tyler’s teammate, Jose Ramirez, tied up the game. Then along came Tyler. People thought it was a home run, but it actually bounced off the wall, and the Blue Jays defense just couldn’t catch the ball in time. Tyler kept running as fast as he could, scoring the first inside-the-park walk-off home run in over a century. I will never get that victory pose of his out of my head. After four years, I am still so happy for him!
What I’ve noticed about Tyler is how kind he is towards fans. Recently, he held a bass photo competition for Instagram followers, and it was really awesome seeing him admire the fish fans posted. He also sent some children’s coloring books to a pediatric hospital in Cleveland. That is beyond sweeter than a half-gallon of Blue Bell Rocky Mountain Road ice cream. He deserves 16,732,568,917 brownie points for that alone. I’ve also seen many photos of him with fans at Progressive Field, his employer’s home ballpark. I noticed he commented on one fan’s photo showing how happy he was that the fan enjoyed the photo. When I grow up, I want to be like him.
Not only that, he has an extremely adorable dog! Tyler is a dog dad to a black lab named Cinch. Cinch is a very good-looking, very well trained pooch. That handsome canine can fetch sticks and water fowl. I’ve mentioned previously that I’m an aspiring dog mom, and to be honest, I feel like the way Tyler loves and trains his dog is an inspiration. If I ever become a pupper mother, I want to make sure my fur baby is well-loved, well-trained, and a super happy four-legged love bug.
Keep up the great work, Tyler! You’re my favorite player in Cleveland and an amazing human. SNARF!