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Days 206, 207, 208, 209 “A Couple of Class Acts!”

I haven’t posted in a few days. It isn’t because I haven’t written, but because I spent three hours writing something up and I accidentally deleted it when I went to publish it!  I then spent an hour wanting to cry, yell, curse Microsoft and throw my laptop.  I have done this twice now on this trip.  Both times I thought what I wrote was some of my best work…

I haven’t figured out what I was suppose to learn from this yet, besides slowing down before posting anything.  I have driven a lot the last few days, going from Baltimore to Pittsburgh to Atlanta.  After tonight’s game I am heading to Tampa for two games.

The post that I lost I talked about the great experience in New York at the Mets-Nationals game I had.  I took my glove into the game, first time I did that since I caught a batting practice home run ball in Houston back in April.  I thought I would give it another try since the trip is winding down, I wanted to be a kid on this particular day.  I arrived early and I went to the left field seats, two guys were in the section were I was, near the foul pole.  There was a six foot high partition that separated another section. I felt I should have went over to that section but didn’t feel like walking up to the concourse and then back down just to move over 10 feet.

As I was debating about moving, one of the Nationals hit a ball that was coming my way. I realized it was going over my head to the upper deck. Looking up I saw glass windows of a restaurant above. I moved to the partition to see if it was going to bounce back towards me; but, the ball went out of sight. I heard it hit the window and in a flash saw it come back towards me. I extended my arm and body as far as I could until I was on my tip toes, the ball landed in my glove.  I was astonished because it was all reaction and was impressed that I could extend as far as I did. However, I knew instantly I would probably be sore in the morning since I felt it in my muscles.  The two men in my section and three guys in the other section were clapping, they said, “You made a difficult catch look easy.”

Jordan Zimmermann
Jordan Zimmermann

Since I got a ball I thought I would go to my seat in center field. Once I got to section, there was a kid waiting to get balls and he had gotten three already. He was in high school and wanted to be a sportscaster when he grew up.  There was two Nationals in center retrieving baseballs. The kid told me the name of the taller pitcher and thought the other one was Jordan Zimmermann. He wasn’t sure but wanted to yell to him to thank him for getting his fantasy team into the playoffs. I immediately said, “I know him.” I wanted to impress the kid with this knowledge.  As fast as I said that I knew him, I had to admit, “I didn’t; but, knew his sisters-in-law.” The kid wanted me to yell to Jordan. Wanting to impress this kid again, I told him I never met him; but, “Jordan did leave me tickets for two games the week before in Washington.” At that moment Jordan ran over to the fence to get a ball. The kid asked if he could have it and Jordan threw it up to him then ran back to talk to the other pitcher.

I felt goofy that I was trying to impress the kid. He inquired why I was able to travel all over. I explained what I was doing and that seemed to make the kid’s day. Again Jordan ran after a ball close by. This time I yell over to him and he came over. I told him who I was, thanked him for the tickets and he gave me a thumbs up.  The kid thanked him for doing a great job for him. He was excited that Jordan took the time.  The young man left and as I was sitting there Jordan threw a ball up to me. I thanked him and a moment later he threw another one to me, “that one is cleaner” he said. Other people wanted to know how he knew me, I told them he didn’t. It was a beautiful night for baseball and I very much felt like a kid.

That was the overview of the original story I wrote. When this trip is finished, I plan to get the entire moment on ‘paper’. The next day I went to a day-night doubleheader in Baltimore. The Yankees were in town, I was expecting two large crowds, even though, I was only going to go to the afternoon game. I was in line to get a ticket when a family came up and gave me a ticket. As always, I was very thankful. I chose to sit in the outfield where I could stretch out, I was the only one in my row of seats. In about the third inning another guy came to sit near by. I looked at him and he looked at me, we nodded. I was talking to a family in the row in front of me. I started noticing people coming up to this guy and taking a picture with him.

Brain Cashman, GM of the Yankees!
Brain Cashman, GM of the Yankees!

I now wanted to know who this guy was, and I was the “Baseball Buddha”, I was going to ask. This might be a good story.  Since he was only a couple seats away, I asked, “Why is everyone taking a picture with you?” he looked at me a little amused and said, “You would have to ask them.” I said, “Don’t give me that shit, who are you?”.  He looked at me laughed and said sheepishly, “I am the GM of the Yankees, Brian Cashman”, I was a little skeptical and I asked, “Why you would be sitting out here?” He told me that he was also a baseball fan and it is nice to get a different perspective.

I talked with Cashman for awhile about what I was doing and was going to leave him alone; but, he was asking me questions. People would interrupt to get a picture with him. In turn, I asked him all kinds of questions and he answered as best he could.  He told me some things that were fun to hear and I will leave it at that for now. I appreciated him taking the time with me and everyone who wanted a picture with him.  Some of the people were posting the pictures on Instagram and Twitter right away as I was checking while I sat with him. He was nothing but nice to everyone. However, some that had a picture weren’t very nice in their post’s. He said, “It gets old, but it is part of the job. It is hard not to be affected by what people say; but, for the most part I don’t let it get to me.”

He took a call and I went back to my seat and a half inning later he got up to leave. He came over, shook my hand and wished me well.  As he walked down the stairs, people took pictures of him. A couple people came over to inquire how I knew him, I told them, “I don’t.” I was impressed with Jordan and Brian, I don’t know either one; but, personally, I think they are “class acts”  They didn’t have to talk to me but they did. Each is living part of my dream. They are involved in baseball, which to me means happiness.