Morneau hits the jackpot

Justin Morneau drove a visitor around on a mini-tour of his New Westminster, British Columbia, neighborhood in late November of 2006, pointing out the small lot where he grew up, the modest house with the flakes of paint hanging off, the place where he and his brother played Wiffleball, and where he played youth baseball, and his old high school. There were mounds of snow piled up on both sides of the narrow streets from a recent storm, and as we took a slow right-hand turn around a snow bank, I asked him about what it would mean to him to earn the significant contracts that seemed destined in his future.

Morneau did not come from money, had financial aid to play youth hockey, where he was highly regarded as a goalie, and he didn't strike me at all as being someone who coveted money or even thought about it that much.

He is quiet, anyway, and the question about money silenced him for a few moments. I got the strong sense that he did not like thinking about it, did not like considering it, and preferred to keep it out of mind, like a problem looming on the horizon.