Phillies' Revere points to MLK as inspiration

Outfielder takes time to reflect, greet fans during day of service

Phillies' Revere points to MLK as inspiration

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies center fielder Ben Revere was just a child growing up in Georgia when his family first began telling him stories about Martin Luther King Jr.

"I would always want to learn more," Revere said on Monday before speaking to a crowd and taking pictures with hundreds of people at The African American Museum in Center City.

Revere was raised in Atlanta and was taught the importance of King's legacy from an early age. He visited King's home and grave site in Atlanta, an experience that left a lasting impression.

"He's definitely an inspiration," Revere said. "When I think of him, I think of equality, opportunity and peace. That's the main focus. Growing up in the South at that time, it was tough. But he never gave up. He never stopped believing. He just kept going."

Now, Revere relishes his chance to be a positive influence in the community. He certainly made an impact on Monday during Martin Luther King Jr. Day, answering questions from kids and taking a seemingly endless amount of selfies with a long line of Phillies fans.

One young fan asked Revere what his inspiration was for pursuing a career as a baseball player. He credited his great-grandmother and another prominent member of the Civil Rights movement.

"She was definitely a big Jackie Robinson fan," Revere said, "and every single time she would be watching, she would tell me I reminded her of Jackie Robinson running around the basepaths. That was definitely my inspiration. I wanted to make her happy."

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.