Wow, I have been so busy lately! Glad I finally have a chance to catch up. We’re right in the middle of spring training, and although fun, I’m already a little exhausted. A few highlights in the past couple weeks:
-The Netherlands and Puerto Rico played the Twins recently; fun to see WBC teams in Ft. Myers!
-I literally “ran into” Pudge down in the tunnel–he walked into the office as I was walking out, thinking he was walking into the clubhouse.
– I met Tony Oliva (in the Twins Hall of Fame).
-George Toma (legendary artist of field prep) asked me when I was taking him to dinner (he favors Perkins while reading USA today); then proceeded to ask if he could come to my 22nd birthday party (this Saturday…we’re going to the beach! What a lucky day to have off). He had his 80th birthday on the 50 yard line at midnight after the conclusion of the Super Bowl this year …how do you top that? He said he would get me a copy of his book too–what an interesting guy, can’t wait to read it.
-I met JOHNNY PESKY on St. Patty’s day @ City of Palms Park (where the Red Sox spring train) before the Red Sox/Twins game… I was told no more people could get pictures/talk to him because he had been out in the sun long enough already (he is in his mid-upper 80’s) but after quickly explaining my ties to him, I got to be the “absolute LAST person in line”….that is verbatim from a Boston usher who was not too pleased nor impressed that my Grandpa Platt knew him. I explained to Mr. Pesky who I was and that my Grandpa coached him and he seemed a little foggy at first, but quickly repeated my Grandpa’s name and said he remembered those days.
I was so excited and nervous to meet him, but he is such a great man and the epitome of a an old-time baseball player. A young boy was standing a little behind me and while Mr. Pesky was walking up the steps, he asked the boy to throw him the ball. The boy threw the ball to the lengendary player and Mr. Pesky threw it back saying, ” Now you can tell all your friends the oldest guy in the ballpark caught your baseball.” As he continued walking up the stairs, he was surrounded by a few ushers and loudly said, “Where the hell were you guys when I was a player? I could have really used you then!”
He also called me ‘good looking’ and ‘blondie’ in the whole two minutes I talked to him… the man still knows how to flatter a girl!
I hope some of the baseball stars of today realize what a refreshing impact they can have on families and kids that come visit the ballpark–especially when the economy is the way it is and baseball is still an affordable form of entertainment–because Mr. Pesky certainly made the young boys day, and made me smile at the same time.
The weather has been great down here lately, and I’m excited to spend Saturday at the beach celebrating my birthday! I looked at my calendar, and I have exactly six weekends off between now and when I leave in August–I’ve got to start planning trips to Miami, Key West…. I’ll stop there, for all those who are still dealing with cool temperatures up North.