Edwin Baker – Man of Color: Man of Honor
I read an article today in the Detroit Freepress on NFL Running Back Edwin Baker. This young man exemplifies much of what I talk about in Men of Color: Men of Honor. You can read the details about this successful young man in the link above. What I want to do is highlight some of what stood-out to me.
Edwin Baker grew up in Detroit and attended Oak Park High which is about two miles from where I’m typing this. He played his college career at Michigan State Univ. He’s been on five teams, the Chargers, Broncos, Houston, Cleveland and his current team the Saints. Last season he made $200,00. While other young men in his position might be out living the highlife, Edwin Baker is living his life like most young professional ballplayers wouldn’t so he can live his life after this playing days like most former players can’t.
After his season was over last year Edwin Baker moved back hone to Detroit and moved in with his parents. He worked for three months making $14 an hour at a mortgage company in metro Detroit working in human-resources.
The first thing that stood-out to me was his moving back in with his parents. The operable word here is parents. Look, I don’t know anything about Edwin Baker’s personal life, but from this article I have to assume he had a man, a father in his life.
Why do I say this? I’m of the opinion that young men, Mr. Baker is 23 years old, make better life decisions when they have the influence of a positive male role model in their lives. Ideally that role model is their father. Now before anyone jumps on me about how well some young man is doing they know, or how well their son is doing without a father in his life, understand, I get that. I address this very issue in Men of Color: Men of Honor. Yes, there are men who have done well and created success in their lives without ever knowing who their father was. That’s not what I’m talking about and I’ll leave it at that for now.
Edwin Baker also wasn’t influenced by other young pro ball players, who I’m sure at least a few laughed about the fact the he was working for $14 an hour. Farther in the article there’s a short story about a one-hour wealth=management class held at the NFL scouting combine. The person sharing the story said this: “And during those classes, I would always ask, ‘What are you going to do after football?’ ” Griffin said. “And without fail, someone always wants to own a restaurant, wants to become a record producer, wants to do something outlandish. Ernie Sims from the Detroit Lions said he wanted to buy a zoo. There were different things like that. And these guys want things that are cool, but they’re not practical.”
What impresses me about Edwin Baker is that he understands that to create the kind of life he wants in the future he will at times have to make sacrifices. He has to limit hanging-out and partying, save, spend and invest his money wisely and place himself in the company of others who are creating their dreams and desires.
The last thing I’ll touch on is young Mr. Baker has an appreciation for education, learning and critical thinking. I’ll even go so far to say, without knowing him, that Edwin has a strong vocabulary, knows how to honestly express his emotions and displays a strong intellectual curiosity. It’s pretty evident from the article that this is the case.
Down the road I hope to interview both Edwin Baker and his parents. I’ll let you know should this happen. In the meantime, I’ll say this to Edwin, keep going after your dreams and desires. You’re on the right path to success and freedom.