Tuesday, July 25, 2006

More Baseball (Sorry it is a long one)

George. Brett.
Two words that can really get my attention. Sad. I know. But he has been one of my favorites since I was a kid. I have seen him in person three times. Count 'em...one - two - three. Well, it sounds better than it actually was.

The first time was in the LAX airport (Los Angeles, CA). This is back when the teams all flew together. The whole KC Royals team was walking pretty much single file through the airport, all dressed in suits. I noticed them. I took off after them. My Uncle was right behind me. I don't really know what I thought I would do once I caught them. I didn't get an autograph or anything.

Then the time came for him to retire. I had watched him play on television but not in person. So I called a friend and said I HAVE to go to a game before he retires. And that is what we did. We borrowed by Dad's little Toyota pick-up because it got better gas mileage than mine - and headed to KC. The pick-up did not have an air-conditioner or a radio. We sang "The Bunny Song" most of the way. People that saw us probably thought we were idiots - but we had fun. I saw George play - and was happy.

The last time I saw him was in Surprise, AZ during Spring Training. McDreamy's job requires him to attend different meetings throughout the year. This time it just so happened to be in Phoenix, AZ. I went to school with a guy whose father was the local junior college baseball coach. He was known as "the best." He retired from that and went to work for the KC Royals. He is part of the coaching staff there in Surprise. As soon as I heard we were headed to AZ, I was on the phone trying to get ahold of my good ol' high school friend. To make what could be a long story shorter - I got ahold of Z (the coach) and he hooked me up!

McD had to be in meetings all day so every morning I would pack my backpack. Oh I had a ton of baseballs and water and snacks, etc. Had to be prepared!! Then I would head for the ballparks. I saw a ton of teams. But I was really only there for George Brett.

Z showed me around. Introduced me to a couple of coaches and players. Then when I walked back toward the locker room with him the team he was having bp with was following behind us. It was so much fun! I asked him if he could hook me up with an autographed ball from George and he said he would try. I know this is getting long but this is the best part.

There are places where you can stand and hope that they will come over and sign stuff. Yes, I was one of the crazy fans there. Ball in hand. But I am not the kind of person that would yell or holler or scream at the players. I just stand there trying to look normal. LOL. So George walks by and all of these people are yelling at him. I am just in awe. I don't think my jaw dropped but it might have a little. Then he walked within my reach. I just stood there. In awe! I could see directly in his eyes. I could see every wrinkle on his face (oh and he has them). He was soooo tan. But all I could do was stand there. He told everyone that he couldn't sign right now but maybe later. Then he went into the dugout. The game was about to start and everyone left - but me. I just stood there. If it was just me maybe he would come out and sign. No. But he did turn around and see the dork (me) standing there all by herself. He smiled. I smiled. And that was it.

We were headed to the airport when Z finally called me. He wanted to know where I was because he had something for me. While George was on the treadmill he asked him to do him a favor and sign this ball for a friend of his. George said okay. Z left it sitting on the table with a Sharpie and headed out to his game. When I saw Z he said that George must have forgotten to sign the ball because it was still on the table when he went back. But - apparently George remembered because later when Z got to his locker there it was! George had forgotten, so he went in - got a different ball and used his own pen to sign my ball. I whipped a Uie and met Z at the post office (it was the closest). That is where I saw the HOTTIE cop!!! (Oh that is another story!!)

So I have it! My very own George Brett autographed baseball. To get it someone will have to pry it from my cold dead hand. LOL (Or offer me lots and lots of money!!! I could probably get another one!)


Blogger Pamela said...

Then I bet you love THE SAND LOT movie as much as we do....

7/25/2006 9:58 AM  
Blogger willowtree said...

That was a good story, you're a bit like me in feeling guilty when they get long, but don't worry that one warranted it. Plus baseball stories can be as long as they like.

Its a shame that so many people are now trying to make a living out of sports memorabilia, it makes the sports stars reluctant to sign when they know it will probably be on eBay tomorrow.

just so you know, this comment has the longest verification I've ever seen! 10 letters, a record.

7/25/2006 6:38 PM  

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