Written by Anna Intartaglia
Entering into the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) season after signing an 11-year, $300 million contract, Trea Turner seemingly had the weight of the world on his shoulders – or maybe just the weight of Philadelphia’s high expectations. With a Philly team entering the season with high prospects, Turner had a lot to live up to.
The start of the season was less than ideal for Turner, and by August it was official, the 2x All-Star, World Series Champion, and Silver Slugger winner was in a slump. With every passing game, his struggles at the plate and in the infield seemed to be getting worse and worse.
Arguably his worst performance of the season came at the beginning of August against the Miami Marlins, where he went 0-5 at the plate, and battled a handful of defensive errors that contributed to a 9-8 Phillies loss in the 12th inning. Turner took responsibility for the loss after the game, and he and Phillies fans were both left frustrated and searching for answers.
Up until that point, Turner had posted a .235 batting average (BA) / a .290 on-base percentage (OBP) / and a .368 slugging percentage (SLG), with 10 home runs (HR) and 34 runs batted in (RBI).
For reference, a good benchmark for a great hitting season is a .300 BA / .400 OBP / .500 SLG. Turner was playing nowhere near where his potential and contract promised, and both Turner and Phillies fans knew that.
Known for their passion, the City of Brotherly Love channeled their frustration into support during the following home stand against the Kansas City Royals on August 5, 2023. Fans greeted Turner with a standing ovation during his first trip to the plate, and donated money to the V Foundation for Cancer Research in honor of Turner, a foundation Turner has been openly supportive of.
Although the Phillies did not leave victorious against the Royals that night, Turner was humbled by the gesture, “I thought it was pretty [freaking] cool,” Turner said in an interview for the MLB. “The fans have my back. They’re showing up for me. It’s pretty cool to see. I wish we could have come out with the win right there, but I thought that was awesome.”
Turner homered the following night and was on fire for the month following the ovation. Within that month, he posted a much-improved stat line of .364 BA / .398 OBP /.754 SLG with 11 HR and 31 RBI.
That one-month “hot streak” eventually slowed down, but Turner finished the regular season playing much better, with improved statistics and overall morale. His performances helped lead Philadelphia to the National League Championship Series.
The City of Brotherly Love’s showcase of class, respect, support, and passion for Turner is exemplary. Their act of kindness had a noticeable impact on Turner and the rest of the Phillies team and can be attributed to their success this season. Let’s use this situation as a reminder to allow each other grace, and produce acts of kindness for those around us, no matter how big or small. You never know the impact it will have.