SAN DIEGO -- Most of the Rockies showed up for early batting practice -- an appropriate response for a team with reputed firepower that's hitting .235. But utilityman Jeff Baker showed that he cares about more than a batting average.
Baker took his swings wearing a Virginia Tech T-shirt on Wednesday, the first anniversary of the day that a gunman killed 32 people, then himself, in a rampage.
When Baker was graduating from Gar-Field (Va.) High School, the only recruiting trips he took were to Clemson, where he signed, and Virginia Tech. He also has an offseason home near where the gunman grew up, and Virginia Tech is a huge part of his life.
"My girlfriend [Jamie Reichenbach] went to Virginia Tech, and the majority of my high school when people were making college choices went to Virginia Tech," Baker said. "There are a bunch of roots there.
"I just want to show support. I know it's corny. It doesn't do a whole lot. But it's one of the little things you try to think about. You take a little more time and realize how precious life is. Hopefully, something like this never happens again, in a college setting or, better yet, anywhere."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.