I like baseball. This may be genetic.
The day the muppets were born, my mom sent me a note that she knew the boys would okay. Because they were born on the 28 – the number of former Dodger Wes Parker.
In second grade I won “Most Likely to Know Everything About Baseball” at Sunny Skies Summer Day Camp. In fourth grade, I was seated next to the Away bullpen at Dodger Stadium when a NY Mets relief pitcher asked me to move so he could talk to his girlfriend. I was over the moon.
This past week, I traveled to Vegas for work. Mere hours after discussing the ridiculousness of mustaches with a colleague, I discovered that Rollie Fingers was in attendance. When an appropriate moment arose, I darted off across the show floor in search of an audience with the Hall of Famer.
Because why not?
Aunt J is a big fan. And she takes her dedication seriously. We’ve descended upon a legendary manager simply trying to have a magical evening with his granddaughter. We’ve chased an iconic broadcaster through a supermarket.
Back in the day, player’s cars weren’t locked away. Baseball icons were admired, but they were people too. There for the stalking! All one needed to do was hang around the parking lot until the players emerged.
One may think a description such as this means I’m about to categorize Aunt J as a Jersey Chaser. But that totally does not apply when you’re under the age of 10. Then you’re just adorable.
(And really real estate escrow transactions are public domain, so if one happens to find Don Sutton’s address and go to check it out only to see a garage across the cul-de-sac with GARV6 parked in it – well then is it any surprise at all when a smitten 10-year-old trick-or-treats at the newly discovered house?)
I was initially shocked to find Fingers sitting alone, and looking slightly bored. Although, in retrospect, a tech geek networking nirvana isn’t often where one expects to see a 70s sports star.
The next day I discovered baseball hit leader Pete Rose shilling autographs in a nearby entertainment art gallery (approximately three stores down from the sports art gallery – no Charlie Hustle was not hustling in the SPORTS gallery).
The irony of where Rose was selling scribbles of his name was not lost on me.
To be honest, I feel sorry for the guy. Because how the mighty may fall. I mean, not sorry enough to buy over-priced memorabilia for him to sign…but I did feel bad.
But being Vegas, there’s something for everyone. So after a day of demos I headed to the hotel Sports Book to watch a game. There were crazy people around. Futzing and fidgeting with sports apps and watching all the games at once. I’d make fun of them here if the aforementioned actions didn’t totally make sense to me. (No, I didn’t bet on any of the games.)
The nerd show went well. Work was exhausting. But man, the people watching in Sin City cannot be beat.