Those moments when you sign a contract are dramatic for a reason — whether it’s for a mortgage, a marriage license or selling your soul to the devil. Once ink hits paper, it’s all over. Except, that is, if you’re Jeremy Affeldt.
The San Francisco Giants’ reliever signed a contract in 2010 which, upon further inspection, gave him $500,000 more than the amount that was agreed upon. But despite experts telling him that he was legally within his rights to keep it — including a Giants assistant GM — Affeldt decided to give the money back to the team.
Didn’t Jerry Seinfeld say that humans don’t give back money? That’s what separates us from the other animals.
Well anyway, pro athletes usually don’t.
The story came to light in Affeldt’s book, To Stir a Movement, which came out in April. Henry Schulman, the Giants beat writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, noticed the story and wrote about it today.
“I talked to [Giants assistant GM] Bobby [Evans] the next day and said, ‘I can’t take that money,’ ” Affeldt said. ” ‘I won’t sleep well at night knowing I took that money because every time I open my paycheck I’ll know it’s not right.’ ”
Affeldt signed a new three-year, $18 million deal last winter and said he believes the negotiations went smoothly and quickly because of the residual good feelings from the 2010 experience.
Affeldt is active in many charitable organizations, among them Generation Alive, which advises people on social justice issues, and Not 4 Sale, which provides medical assistance to children in Thailand.