Though much of Stan Grossfield’s profile of Mo Vaughn in yesterday’s Boston Globe covers the same territory as George Vescey’s recent NY Times piece concerning the retired slugger’s low cost housing initiatives, Grossfield’s article dips into some baseball territory, as well.
He made $100 million playing baseball, so what’s he doing in the South Bronx?
“In 2003, I was 35 years old,” he says. “What am I going to do with myself? I didn’t want to hang around as an ex-player. I always felt a test of a man was how he was going to evolve and transform himself from an athlete to the next level. So when I went into business, I wanted to be something formidable. I want to make a difference.”
Vaughn says this isn’t about feeling guilty for playing only two injury-plagued, subpar seasons in New York before retiring in January 2004
“I got paid for what I had done,” says Vaughn, who was making $15 million a year. “In baseball, that’s how they do things. I didn’t owe anybody anything. I wasn’t a disabled list guy. I came to play and I played hard.
“I didn’t feel any guilt from that, and I end up in NY and create a business that my idol was involved with. There’s nothing here to be sorry about.”
He has not returned to Fenway Park “since the day I left” but he fantasizes about wearing a disguise and sitting in the stands to check out the renovations.
“I hear it came out great,” he says.
He insists that leaving Boston was not about money. He felt disrespected.
“I’m disappointed, there’s no doubt about that,” he says. “I think I’ll always be disappointed. I think that I haven’t changed my personality from the day I got there to the day I left there. Money hasn’t changed me. Success and failure hasn’t changed me.
“I’m happy for the Red Sox as a team and their fans because I believe totally they deserved to finally [win]. I felt that when that final out was made in St. Louis, it erased all the demons in all of us that played the game and wore that uniform for any period of time.
“It was almost like something came off of me. I remember I was sitting in Miami. It was like a ghost fell off of me or something like that. It was weird.”