Colorado Pitcher An Ultra Fanatic About Preserving The Planet

Tree-hugging climate nut Brent Suter, a pitcher for the Colorado Rockies, was tailor made for Sports Illustrated’s SI Climate series “about how sports are adapting to—and affecting—our changing world.” The seven-year Major League Baseball veteran is an Ivy Leaguer and ultra-fanatic about saving the planet. 

Suter engages in numerous climate fetishes, and appears more of a climate activist who plays baseball than a baseball player devoted to the extremist climate cause. 

Former Milwaukee Brewers’ teammate Brandon Woodruff noted that Suter, age 33, is anal about preserving water. “He’s in and out of the shower so quick. I’m not saying he doesn’t wash himself. But he’s so fast … I’m like, dude, I can’t do that.” 

The major leaguer pitches relief for the Rockies and Mother Earth by bringing reusable containers to limit waste from meals on road trips, driving an electric car and spurning red meat. (He must be a real blast in the clubhouse.)

Furthermore, Suter supports feel-good environmental legislation and multiple nonprofit groups obsessed with the climate. Previously with Milwaukee, he urged the Brewers and the community to focus on sustainability initiatives. Baseball teams are apparently threatening the environment more than we know. 

Fossil fuels have also got to go, Suter says in earning his environmental spurs. 

“I know I’m the tree hugger, and it’s one of those things where it’s like, yes, I’ll wear that label proudly,” says Suter, who studied environmental science and public policy at Harvard. “But I also want to bring people on board, so I don’t want to make it seem too weird … I’m just trying to tell them what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, and I’ll invite them to hop on, too.” 

Suter also tries to shame his teammates into supporting his climate obsessions. While playing for Milwaukee, he pledged money for planting trees for every team win. Surprisingly, team losses did not require tree planting. He persuaded relief pitchers to match his donations upon saves and holds. Again, blown saves and blown holds rendered new tree plants unnecessary. Colorado is really “hurting” for greenery with “just” 24 million acres of forested land!

Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri says Suter is doing much more than all the above, too. He got the Rockies to start a sustainability council, and convinced teammates to work in an urban garden. Some teammates joined Suter for “Meatless Mondays,” others “embraced the effort to cut down on plastic in the clubhouse.” No word on how many begged to be traded.

The climate-spewing pitcher still isn’t satisfied with his efforts to save Planet Earth. “He understands the team’s (and league’s) carbon footprint is bigger and more complex than any of these individualized actions—and that many long-term, macro-level questions here are far bigger still,” Baccellieri noted. 

SI also reported that Suter fell for Al Gore’s 2006 movie, An Inconvenient Truth, “as the awakening for his environmental activism.” Al Gore has a lot to answer for.

Suter says it’s all about walking the walk, spreading the environmental gospel, using his MLB platform to get others involved in the movement.   

Suter said he’s not self-righteous about his favorite cause. “I get ribbed all the time for being liberal or whatever, because a lot of baseball players do tend to be conservative. And so being on the other side, at least on the environmental spectrum, it’s different … I try to talk about it, to work it in, without trying to be preachy.” 

“Earth’s our mother, you know? It sounds corny, but that’s what it is. It’s our home, and we’ve got to take care of it,” Suter said. Sure does sound corny.

Baccellieri wrote that many of Suter’s lifestyle fetishes come across as personal, not political, “even if they were really both: These conversations didn’t have to feel like they were about politics. It didn’t necessarily win everyone over, at least not at first, but it got the ball rolling.” Suter found some like-minded major leaguers willing to go to the mat to save the environment. 

The SI agenda piece also boasts about retired outfielder Chris Dickerson, who’s active in Players for the Planet, and Brewers infielder Keston Hiura, an ambassador for the organization focused on ocean health. Hiura lacks the tree-hugging rep of Suter, and “It would be hard for anyone to,” Baccellieri raves. 

This story also hypes other environmental activism in athletics, such as the Green Sports Alliance and Players for the Planet— though pro sports campaigns are still rare, thankfully. 

Suter is highly concerned about the flying involved with Major League Baseball. He tries to learn what resonates with people and what doesn’t. Doomsday vibes turn people and shut down conversations. 

No matter, Suter’s overly obsessive devotion to saving the planet and the Sports Illustrated exposure have done plenty to brand him as a climate nut as life and the Earth continue to function. 

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