Jonny Gomes’ bucket list helps him live life fully

Published On June 12, 2013 | By Sarah Kirkpatrick

Eleven years ago, current Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes could have lost his life. Since then, he has worked to live his life to the fullest.

After suffering a heart attack on Christmas Eve of 2002, Gomes lay in a hospital be with all the time to think about the things he had yet to accomplish. There was one thing constantly on his mind during that time.

“I’m in the hospital fighting for my life,” he said in an interview with “I’m like, ‘If I freakin’ check out right now and I didn’t get a tattoo that I wanted on my back, I’m going to be so mad.'”

Once he checked out of the hospital with a new lease on life, Gomes got his tattoo. Since his heart attack, Gomes has made a “bucket list” of the many other things he wants to do: attend as many other sporting events as possible, buy a monster truck, kite surf and run with the bulls in Pamplona, for example.

But his primary goal? Win a World Series, of course. For Gomes, who never envisioned a career in professional baseball when he was younger, this wasn’t always a goal. But after signing with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2001, it jumped into the lead.

“I signed with [winning a World Series] in mind,” Gomes said. “I signed with not trying to make it to the big leagues, not trying to make a bunch of money. When I signed I was like, ‘I’m going to do this to try to win a World Series.’”

With all of these goals on tap, Gomes said he hopes to never have to lay in a hospital bed with that same level of regret as he did about not having a tattoo.

“We’re on this freakin’ rock to live life every single day to the fullest, and it just made me realize tomorrow is not a guarantee. It’s not,” he said. “You cannot bet on tomorrow, especially in this day and age. Obviously without being ridiculous, if it’s debatable, I’m doing it.”

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About The Author

Sarah is a Seattle native studying journalism at Boston University. She covers track and field, cross country and women’s hockey and is Sports Editor at The Daily Free Press, BU’s independent student newspaper. You can follow her on Twitter at @Kirkpatrick_SJ.