Earlier this week Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton appeared on a live web chat sponsored by EastBay and Adidas. The chat allowed fans an opportunity to ask the 2009 all-star any questions they might have.
The chat itself was very informal with Upton appearing in a chair in front of a web cam wearing an Adidas shirt (nice product placement). Fans could enter their questions through a browser form. Upton would read the questions and articulate his answers.
The relaxed nature of the chat allowed the fans to see some of Upton’s personality and what a genuine person he is. I’ve had several opportunities to speak with Upton and it was great to see he is always the same.
A fairly quiet person, Upton at times seems embarrassed by all of the attention he is getting at a young age. Don’t let the shy exterior lull you into believing he is laid back or uncaring.
At one point during the chat a fan asked how Upton stayed grounded amid all the media hype. With a shy smile Upton said he was not that big a star yet. He went on to express that “yet” was the operative word.
He has high expectations for himself and feels that he has not fulfilled his potential yet. That is not to say that he is cocky, just self confident. At that point he talked to the younger fans explaining how importance confidence is to the game and how they need to make sure that confidence does not grow into boasting.
Clearly Upton comes from a very good family. He was raised to respect others and respect the game. As a young player he still has a ways to go before he matures into the game but these first steps are very exciting to watch for any Diamondbacks fans.
The questions during the chat ran the gambit from asking about base stealing techniques and equipment choices to wondering about the personal life of a Major League Baseball player. Upton attempted to answer all of the questions given and even admitted that he has a fear of spiders and snakes.
Hopefully he can overcome that fear of snakes at least the Diamondbacks variety. Kudos to the EastBay and the Adidas representatives for offering this opportunity to the fans. Not only did the fans get a unique chance to speak to a Major League Baseball player and ask any question they wanted, they were also eligible for product giveaways that happened during the chat.
Hopefully more of these types of forums can be established that will allow the fans to understand a little more about the kind of person each of these players are. After all, you might find out you have something in common with them.