No, the above picture is not a scene from the new Batman film, it’s a picture of Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey training this off season with an oxygen deprivation mask for his climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. Dickey is climbing the tallest mountain (19,341 feet) in Africa to raise $100,000 for the Bombay Teen Challenge to end human trafficking in Mumbai, India.
He and his wife, Anne, have also been involved in charitable causes for years, including the International Justice Mission, which rescues victims of slavery and sex trafficking in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The Bombay Teen Challenge resonated with Dickey, who has two daughters.
“The thought of what these girls are subjected to, it’s just horrifying,” Dickey said. “It really is. It’s horrifying.”
The Mets have already sent him a letter saying they’ll basically void his contract if he gets injured and can’t play next year because of the climb. Dickey is scheduled to earn $4.5 million in 2012 in the second year of a two-year, $7.8 million deal. Dickey is still going ahead with the climb willing to risk his career for the cause which you have to find admirable.
With not much to root for over the past couple of years R.A. Dickey has been such a great story for the Mets. His performance on and off the field makes you realize there are some athletes out there that care and look to make a difference. His cause also hits home with me as I was born in Bombay, India and have seen what poverty and struggle is first hand over there. I wish him nothing but the best for his climb and of course on the field as the ace of the Mets pitching staff this year.
Photo: David Kasnic Wall Street Journal