Adam Wainwright surprised non-roster pitcher Ryan Sherriff with a rental car for him to drive the rest of spring training. (Memphis Redbirds)

Follow us on  Twitter: @RobRains and Instagram: @Rob_Rains

By Rob Rains

JUPITER, Fla. – Adam Wainwright made his first start on Thursday but his best delivery of the spring might have come on Wednesday night.

That’s when Wainwright had a rental car which he paid for delivered to the Cardinals’ complex for pitcher Ryan Sherriff, a non-roster player, who he had observed walking to the complex from his rental condo for three consecutive days.

“He was at three different parts of the walk, so he obviously was coming from farther away than I first thought,” Wainwright said. “I asked him where he was coming from, and he said he liked walking. I asked, ‘How do you eat?’ and he said he walked to the store.”

Wainwright then made the arrangements for the car, a Nissan Altima, for Sherriff to drive for the rest of the spring.

It was the kind of action older players had done for him years ago, Wainwright said.

“I remember I wore a couple of tired collared shirts in a row to the field and Mark Mulder bought me a whole box of collared shirts,” Wainwright said. “There were many things like that that happened to me. We just kind of pass that stuff on.”

The gift became public knowledge on Thursday when Sherriff thanked Wainwright in a message on Twitter.

“Couldn’t thank Waino enough for purchasing me a rental car for Spring Training. He saw me walk every morning to the field and surprised me,” Sherriff said in his message.

Sherriff said the gift actually brought him to tears.

“I called my mom,” Sherriff said. “I started crying because it’s the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me.”

Sherriff found out some of Wainwright’s favorites are Chick-fil-A, sweet tea and barbecue sauce, so he wrote a thank you card and included a gift card to the restaurant. He also gave him a jug of sweet tea and what he thought was a bottle of barbecue sauce but turned out to be A-1 steak sauce.

“He wrote a very nice thank you note,” Wainwright said. “He nailed the thank you gift. That’s the best thank you gift I’ve ever had. Chick-fil-A is one of my love languages.”

Sherriff had known something was going on during Wednesday’s game when he was asked to give his driver’s license to a team official. He thought he was going to be the victim of a prank.

“I ran into Waino in the dugout and I was like, ‘Hey man are you pulling a prank on me with my ID? He grabbed me by the shoulder. He was like, ‘Yeah, you better watch out.’”