Matt Chapman and Matt Olson are true cornerstones in Oakland. Not only their defensive positions on the field, but also the accolades they’ve garnered since debuting in 2017.
But none of that success comes with proportionate egos, says longtime A's teammate and friend Chad Pinder.
“They know that they’re superstars in this game, and that they’re going to be for a long time,” said Pinder. “That doesn’t change who they are, how they act, or how they interact with people.”
In fact, Pinder thinks the Gold Gloves and All-Star teams, and playoff appearances only inspire Chapman and Olson more.
“If anything they work harder,” Pinder said. “It speaks to the character, and obviously comes from a foundation of family.”
“How they were raised, great parents, humble people," Pinder added.
Which is very much like Pinder, too. A quiet leader no matter how, or when, or where he’s playing.
He has always carried that tone, dating back to at least 2014 with the Stockton Ports, when Chad’s batting practice group (including Olson) was dubbed ‘Pinder-garten’.
“Brian McArn, our hitting coach called it Pinder-garten,” laughed Pinder. “I was the oldest, I had just come out of college at 21.”
Now at 28, the versatile Pinder has avoided arbitration in Oakland signing a one year deal worth $2.275 million. It goes to show his value is recognized, when a lot of other good players are still waiting to secure their deals.
“I definitely am not the most vocal person in the clubhouse,” said Pinder “I just like to go about my business make sure I’m doing the right things.”
Which is definitely noticed by his peers. Outfielder Ramón Laureano called him a ‘greatest teammate’ in February 2020, and skipper Bob Melvin predicted Pinder would someday be a manager in professional baseball.
“It’s an honor for people to stay that stuff about me," Pinder said.