Two years later Sean experienced what he considers the high point of his life after he was selected for the U.S. Olympic team as a backup infielder. He went 3 for 8 in Sydney, gleefully storming the field when his team beat Cuba in the gold medal clincher. In the stands Jeff and Deborah cried. "Along with the Little League World Series, that was the proudest moment of my life," says Jeff. "Sean didn't play too much, but he is an Olympic gold medal winner. How many major leaguers can say that?"
There is a knock on Sean Burroughs, and it is this: He has no power. It's a funny thing, really. For a guy with his musculature, he does not hit many baseballs over the fence. His career minor league high? Nine, at Portland last year. While Bochy insists this does not bother him, he offers one concern. "Hearing 'You need more power! You need more power! You need more power!' can play with a young hitter's mind and his swing," says Bochy, who will protect Burroughs by batting him sixth or seventh this season.
"I want to hit more home runs," says Burroughs. "But, hey, if I'm a .300 hitter for my career with a lot of RBIs, I'll be very happy."
As dazzled as the Padres are by Burroughs the player, they are even more impressed by Burroughs the person. He converses with Latin players in the Spanish he learned in high school. In the minors he intentionally roomed with teammates from different cultures. He can be deadly serious about hitting, then as goofy as a six-year-old. When he drives, Burroughs likes to wave and honk to strangers. He's a regular snowboarder and bodyboarder and considers both to be keys to staying in shape.
This past off-season, on a whim, he underwent his first acupuncture session, "just to see what it feels like." And? "It feels like 200 pins are in your skin. Weird." The previous winter he took a yoga class. Twenty-five women (including Deborah) and him.
"Life," says Burroughs, "is about experiencing everything you can. I don't know how my baseball career will go, but I know I want my life to be an adventure."
Spoken like the real Babe.