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OldRightHander
06-14-2005, 05:04 PM
Reading the thread below about Kearns got me to thinking about the few times I have met players in situations outside of the ballpark and the impressions I had of those players. I have a few stories, and no doubt some of you have some as well. In the summer of 1994, when I was a young right hander, I was working at a United Dairy Farmers store in Florence, that one on the corner of Dixie Hwy and Turfway Rd. for those familiar with that area. There were a few Reds players who lived in that area and some of them made it into the store to buy milk or ice cream on occasion. I was pretty used to seeing some of them, especially after the strike in August of that year. Joe Oliver and Tim Pugh were fairly regular in the store and Pugh used to come in about once a week with a really short girl I took to be his girlfriend at the time. They would get milkshakes or ice cream cones and sometimes stay and chat for a while if business was slow. During that summer, we hired a young high schooler about 16 years old or thereabouts and he was a huge Reds fan. School started back up that September and he came into work after school one day when Tim Pugh was standing at the counter waiting for me to make his shake. His eyes got kind of wide and he came back from the back room pretty fast with one of his school notebooks opened to a blank page and proceeded to hand the notebook and a pen over the counter for an autograph. Pugh looked pretty embarassed about the whole thing and when the kid went back to the back room all smiles, he said to me, "I didn't think we were that popular right now." We just had a good laugh about it and some of the other times he came in he would ask me if there were any more autograph seekers hiding in the back room. He also had some interesting things to say about the strike, how there were quite a few players who didn't like it and didn't support the union, but that's a whole different story. I have other stories, but for the sake of keeping this post from getting any longer, and to give some others a chance to relate any stories they may have, I will stop with that one account for now. Anyone else have any interesting encounters?

realreds1
06-14-2005, 07:47 PM
When I was 8 years old, my parents drove past the local Super America gas station and the sign below the gas prices read: "Meet Reds pitcher Jeff Montgomery Saturday and Sunday." (Jeff, of course, was from Wellston, Ohio, and he'd graduated from Marshall University, so finding him in these parts of the world was not unusual.)

Well, needless to say, I was at Super America bright and early Saturday morning; I'd never met a big leaguer before. And there he was -- just standing by the fountain drinks, at a makeshift table, signing 8x10s for anyone who asked for one. Funny thing was: I was the only person there at that moment to get his autograph! :cool:

I should point out, also, that the year of this encounter was 1987. He was a rookie, playing his only season with the Reds that year, and very few people knew who he was. I knew though! :thumbup: So, I marched over to Jeff's makeshift table with my 1988 Topps rookie card and asked him for a signature and one of the 8x10 pictures he had in a little stack. (Actually, I think my sister did the asking. I was blown away by the fact that I was meeting a major league ballplayer, so I stood there stunned like Ralphie meeting Santa Claus in A Christmas Story.) I remember him begin friendly and appreciative of me coming in to meet him.

Alas, Jeff wouldn't stay a Red for long. He went to the Royals the season after -- and, man, what a career did he have there! I just like to think of that rare opportunity as a kid, standing in the middle of the fountain drinks section of Super America, meeting a rookie major leaguer (and a future All-Star!!) for the first time.

I also met Todd Benzinger in a Hills Department Store in 1989. That was fun, too, but there were loads of people in front of me to meet him and he was pressed for time. A bit more like the processing line at a meat packing plant actually. Needless to say, it just didn't have the same charm as the encounter with Montgomery.

westofyou
06-14-2005, 08:00 PM
I met Al Kaline at his home in the early 70's, he lived in a nearby neighborhood and his youngest son was in my grade at another school, I knew him through little league.

Bill Munson the Rams/Lions QB ws my little league coach back in the early 70's.

I sat behind Rollie Fingers on a flight from Phoenix to Oakland in teh early 90's

BuckeyeRedleg
06-14-2005, 11:37 PM
WOY, no wonder you'd take Kaline over Clemente.



I met Eric Davis back in 1984, I think just after he had been called up for a few weeks.

That night was a strange one. I was 13 and for some weird reason wore a #43 (spring training) Tom Hume jersey to the game that night. So, by the eighth or ninth inning, "Boom Boom" had pulled another Danny Graves-like defeat from the jaws of victory (that he was so accustomed to doing at the time) and I, being very upset, did the only thing I could do to send a statement of my unsatisfaction to the Reds front office and Mr. Hume. I took off my jersey, snuck down to the first row behind the right field home run fence and threw the #43 jersey over the wall. It floated down behind the home run fence for the world and hopefully Mr. Hume to see. What a horrible thing to do, but I was a rabid 13 year-old fan with a bit of an attitude. Besides, I think one of my uncles had been letting me sneak some sips of his Hudey, so I may have not been thinking too clearly. Apologies to Tom if he's reading this right now.

Anyway, my aunt, who was and still is, a pretty attractive blonde, was absolutely in love with Mario Soto and she wanted desperately to get him a letter. Yeah, I know it sounds kind of scary.

So, after the game, my aunt and a shirtless me go down to the garage at the bottom of Riverfront Stadium to find Mario, so she can give him this letter. Again, scary. My other family members had begun the slow walk back to the cars and they were to wait for us to get back. Back then, for some reason, it was easier to get access to these guys when they were coming out of the clubhouse to their cars. That or the security was a bit lax. I don't remember.

Dave Parker, Cesar Cedeno, and a few others walk by and I think I've died and gone to heaven. Then, Eric Davis walks out and walks right at us to his car which is right where we were standing. It was a little sports car, but nothing extravagant. For some reason, I'm thinking it was an Audi. It was pretty nice, but nothing like the cars the other guys were driving. Obviously, he was a rookie.

So, as Eric walks up to his car, he starts checking out my aunt and I say "Hey, you're Eric Davis. I saw you hit a triple the other day. You are a rookie and you're gonna be awesome someday." I know, I know, I'm embarrassed to admit it, but these were the exact words to come out of my mouth.

I'll never forget it, he looked at me, smiled, shook my hand and said, "Hey, I found a new agent."

After a few more embarrassing words by me, my aunt interrupted and asked, "Do you play for the Reds?" Eric, says "yes", and I interject something like "Gina, what are you crazy, this is Eric Davis!" Of course he probably had 35 career AB's at this point, but I knew he was special and I was a dork.

So we stood there and talked to him for a few minutes. It must have been September, because it was a cold night and he asked me why I had no shirt on. He also got a kick out of my explanation.

So my aunt explained that she wants to get this letter to Mario. Eric takes it and then asks us where we are going. My aunt says we are going to walk back to our car on the other side of the freeway. Here's the cool part. He gets out, pulls back his seat and tells us he'll give us a ride. I'm thinking, "man, this is sooo cool". Eric's thinking something else, I'm sure. My aunt says something like, "No, that's okay". To this day, I should have put up a fight. I don't think she realized that this was Eric freaking Davis!

So he signed my ticket stub and shook my hand and told my aunt he would get the letter to Mario. Two years later he's on the cover of Sports Illustrated. I have it framed on my rec room wall. Smash Hit -Cincinnati's Eric Davis.

He was then and still is my favorite Red of all time. He played the game with such grace and we may never again see anyone come along and display such incredible skills. His combination of speed, power, and defense were unbelievable. It seemed like every night he was on Sportcenter robbing Jack Clark of a HR. He was the greatest baseball player I have ever seen. And the way he handled himself on the field as well as off of it, was always class personified. Later in his career, he battled cancer with the same class he demonstrated his whole career. He was then, and is still, my idol.

I'm so blessed to be there that night he took Dave Stewart WAY deep in the first game of the 1990 series. I was about 20 feet above where the ball landed. It set the tone for the rest of the series, right there. I feel so lucky to have been able to watch such a special talent (even though his greatness was brief) and have a few special, although dorky words with him at such an impressionable age. That 13 year-old was never the same. To the dismay of my HS coach, my batting stance was pure E.D. It got so bad, my teammates called me "E-D". He was the man.


Anyway, my aunt never heard from Mario. Maybe she should have included a picture.

Topcat
06-15-2005, 01:04 AM
MY most memorable encounter was with Dave Winfield after they lost to seattle, He stopped autograph signing to walk over to Seattle's young starter Bryan Clark and gave the kid a compliment that i am sure he would never forget. Not exact words but he said your going to be good alas it didnt happen but for a young SP im sure that was something he wont forget.

919191
06-15-2005, 01:30 AM
Ross Grimsley married a girl from my hometown (Rushville, IN). In the winter after the '72 0r 73 season, he worked there in a furniture store. It was kind of a gimmick to have a Reds player there, I guess- 90 miles from Cincinnati. Anyway, we were there. I was 12 or 13. Grimsley walked out of the men's room and I about lost it. I told my mom, and she said "He goes just like the rest of us.". My dad went home and got the World Series yearbook from '72 and had Grimsley sign it, and I still have it (along with the stubs from the first and sixth series game). So went my brush with greatness.

WVRedsFan
06-15-2005, 03:05 AM
Mickey Mantle. It was luck. My buddy John and I decided we'd go watch a minor league game, so we ended up in Charleston (WV) at the Charleston Charlie's game. At the time, Charleston was an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. By luck they had Mantle there, which we didn't know until we got there. Mantle was stationed under the stands by first base signing little cards. You couldn't get near him for the line.

About the third inning, a kid came by and asked if I wanted his ball. It was an autographed baseball with supposedly Mantle's signature on it. I said, "you're giving this to me," and he said, "yeah, my Dad has two more and he said to give it to you guys." I asked him where his dad was and he pointed to the left. It was a friend of mine who had gone to some sporting goods store that day where Mantle was signing baseballs.

We waited until about the fourth inning and went down. Mantle's line was almost gone, so we got in line. When it came my turn, I showed Mantle the ball and asked if it really was his signature. Mantle either had a headache or something, but he always had a scowl on his face. Anyway, he said, "Maybe, I don't know. Let's make sure of it." He reached in a little bag, pulled out another baseball and signed it right there. What makes it strange is that he wasn't signing anything but those little cards that night, even if someone brought a ball or cap or whatever. For some reason, he signed the ball for me. I gave my buddy the one the kid had given me and kept the one I saw Mantle sign.

It was funny. Mantle was decked out in Yankee pinstripes including real baseball shoes that night. He wasn't chatty at all. It seemed like he was really pained to be there.

I still have the ball, but my buddy's was lost when he was burglarized a few years ago.

Jpup
06-15-2005, 07:11 AM
very good stories guys. they are very enjoyable to read. :thumbup:

SunDeck
06-15-2005, 09:03 AM
I met Pete Rose when I was eight. I had a "Charlie Hustle" trophy, which was probably awarded to the worst player on the team each year. He signed the bottom of it; let me sit on his lap. I stood stock still the entire time, afraid to speak. He seemed enormous.

Jack Billingham was a neighbor of ours; hanging out with him and his son was not nearly as scary as my Pete encounter.

cumberlandreds
06-15-2005, 10:01 AM
I met Lee May in Johnson City, Tn of all places back in the 80's. His son,Lee May,Jr,was playing for the Kingsport Mets of the Appalachian rookie League. I took my two nephews to the game and they had brought along a couple of baseballs so they could get some of Johnson City's players sign them. We had taken our seats before the game whenI looked up and saw Lee May and I presume his wife walking up the aisle and taking their seats across from where we were setting. I was thrilled. My nephews were too young to even know who May was. I told them who he was and told them to ask him to autograph their baseball. He signed it was very gracious and seemed genuinely happy to do it. I thanked him and I felt like I should leave him alone since I knew he was there to watch his son. I wish now I would have said more but I have never been much of a conversationalist.That's my story and I've enjoyed reading everyone elses.

KearnsyEars
06-15-2005, 10:28 AM
very good stories, love reading them.

OldXOhio
06-15-2005, 10:31 AM
Johnny Bench. Neighbor/good friend down the street was a local TV celebrity hosting a benefit w/ JB. When my father heard he was coming to our neighbor's house, he made plans to take me out school at lunch so that he may surprise me with the chance to meet my boyhood idol....didn't give me a reason, just said "I'll come get you around 12 and we'll go somewhere...I've go a surprise for you." So as promised, my dad picked me up that day at lunch and away we went.....walked into our friend's house and there sitting on the couch was JB. He was bigger than life sitting there in his 70s style red and white plaid pants and cousin Eddie white shoes. Got to meet him, took pictures with him, shook his massive hand, etc. My dad brought along my glove so that I could not only get it autographed, but also to pitch a few to him. Upon asking Bench if he'd like to play catch, he replied with "sorry kid, I gotta tee time in an hour I have to get to." And away he went.

I still consider JB to be my fav member of the BRM, although some of his comments/actions over time make me think that perhaps I wasn't the only kid out there to have his "play catch" request rejected. Then again, I guess these guys have to say no some of the time. Regardless, it was a great experience and one that I'll never forget.

As a quick follow up, I saw JB at a charity event here a few years ago....knowing that he was going to be there, I figured I would take my old picture of he and I together and have him sign it. Upon seeing the pic, he quickly scribbled his Hancock, commented "nice pants" and walked off. Typical JB.

SunDeck
06-15-2005, 10:34 AM
Forgot this one- met Johnny Bench at St. Rita's. I was driving a truck for Edelmann's in the summers when I was in college, setting up for church festivals. Bench was there for some reason, and he was hanging around while I got the truck parked and set up. I think he was looking for a free brat.

He was cordial; I told him that my uncle had season tickets back in the day and that the guy who sat next to him used to call Bench "Hollywood". He thought that was a riot. I shook his hand, his hugely massive, seemingly endless expanse of hand. No wonder he designed catcher's mits- there is no way a regular one could fit that paw.

westofyou
06-15-2005, 10:41 AM
St. Rita's.

Now those folks could have a festival.... I once was introduced to Dave Rose by my GF dad, he was impressed by it I wasn't... I wanted to meet Pete.

BTW My friend had a bad autograph experience with Pete at the Gardens, Pete was rude and my friend was about 8 years old, he told me after that day Bench was his favorite player.

OldRightHander
06-15-2005, 10:47 AM
I'll throw another one of mine in here, although this wasn't really a player. I went up to Wrigley with a friend a few years ago and we got into the park early and decided to go up to the upper deck to watch BP. When we got up there we were the only ones in that area and there was Harry Caray sitting there in one of the seats drinking a Coke (can you believe that?) and watching BP with a big grin on his face. The Cubs were playing the Dodgers that day, but my friend and I were wearing Reds caps. Harry seemed to be really enjoying himself just sitting there watching BP and I didn't know if I should disburb him, but my friend just walked right up and shook his hand. He saw our caps and started talking about the Reds, everything about the team. He was like a walking encyclopedia of baseball. We then sat down next to him and watched BP with him and just talked baseball, until some more people came up the ramp and wanted autographs. He signed a few autographs and then sat back down to watch BP, made some comment about the pop not tasting good after the ice melts, and then mentioned that he loved watching BP on nice days before he had to go in the booth. He looked incredibly old in person and his conversation was rambling and somewhat disjointed, flitting from one topic to another without any warning, but he really knew baseball and knew darn near everything about every team. Then someone stuck his head out of a door and said, "Harry, come on now, time to get ready for the broadcast." Harry got up slowly, shook our hands, and said, "It's been nice talking to you, but I have to go to work now." That was the last season he was in the booth. He died that offseason. I'll never forget those few minutes. He was the epitome of the kind old grandfather that day, frail but with a strength still there under the surface. As we were walking back down to the lower deck, I remarked to my friend, "I don't know if he can last much longer." My perception wasn't far off. That was six months before his death.

flyer85
06-15-2005, 11:13 AM
Nice story about Harry. That's why people loved him, he was the guy at the end of the bar that just loved to talk and would ramble. Nobody else ever tries "Did you know his name spelled backwards is".

westofyou
06-15-2005, 11:15 AM
Nobody else ever tries "Did you know his name spelled backwards is".

Probably because most are looking for a good patsy for the "Pull my Finger" joke.

SunDeck
06-15-2005, 11:21 AM
Now those folks could have a festival.... I once was introduced to Dave Rose by my GF dad, he was impressed by it I wasn't... I wanted to meet Pete.

BTW My friend had a bad autograph experience with Pete at the Gardens, Pete was rude and my friend was about 8 years old, he told me after that day Bench was his favorite player.

I have practically no memory of meeting Pete because of the state of shock I put myself into over it. I met Dave on a few occasions when I was playing a lot of softball. The restaurant I worked at in highschool was managed by a guy who used to be a middleman and we all took bets over the phone for him. I'm pretty sure we used to get calls from Dave...from his barstool at the Delhi House. Nice enough guy, but not a lot going for him, really.

Jesus Freak
06-15-2005, 11:23 AM
[QUOTE=OldRightHander] When we got up there we were the only ones in that area and there was Harry Caray sitting there in one of the seats drinking a Coke (can you believe that?) and watching BP with a big grin on his face.

I find it difficult to believe that Harry Caray ever drank "just a coke."

ochre
06-15-2005, 11:26 AM
I played in an Alumni team vs. the Reds basketball game a few years back. The Reds team featured such Reds luminaries as Byron Larkin, Bobby Morris, Mo Sanford, Tim Pugh and Rob Dibble. My brother drew a charge on Dibble (which means he was knocked across the lane). Joe Oliver's Jump shot is good out to about 30'.

OldRightHander
06-15-2005, 11:30 AM
[QUOTE=OldRightHander] When we got up there we were the only ones in that area and there was Harry Caray sitting there in one of the seats drinking a Coke (can you believe that?) and watching BP with a big grin on his face.

I find it difficult to believe that Harry Caray ever drank "just a coke."

I read somewhere that toward the end he was cutting back on the beer quite a bit. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself.

cumberlandreds
06-15-2005, 11:31 AM
That's a great story about Harry. I always liked him just because you could tell he really loved the game. That story just furthers that perception of him. :thumbup:

zombie-a-go-go
06-15-2005, 11:38 AM
I saw David Weathers eating lunch at TGIFriday's the other day.

Pretty cool, eh? I bet you're all jealous. ;) :laugh:

OldRightHander
06-15-2005, 11:43 AM
I saw David Weathers eating lunch at TGIFriday's the other day.

Pretty cool, eh? I bet you're all jealous. ;) :laugh:

Why should I be jealous of him? I've gotten to eat there a few times too.

westofyou
06-15-2005, 11:45 AM
Why should I be jealous of him? I've gotten to eat there a few times too.

His Fries weren't limp.

919191
06-15-2005, 11:48 AM
I've seen Ray Knight in the Gold Star in Covington and Jim Brower in the food court in the Florence Mall.

KearnsyEars
06-15-2005, 11:54 AM
no wonder ray knight has heart probs

Red Leader
06-15-2005, 11:55 AM
My first encounter with a Reds player came when I was 11 years old. I met Pete Rose at (then) Latonia Raceway. We were sitting in the VIP tables (my Dad took the family there for my Mom's birthday- Pete's birthday as well, April 14th) and he came walking in with a full length fur coat on and his wife (at the time, Carolyn, I believe). I looked at my Dad and said "that's Pete Rose!". I asked my Dad if I could get his autograph and my Dad told me not to bother him. I kept staring at him for about an hour and a half. Finally, Pete looked over at me and waved. I waved back, and he said "come over here, son." I walked over and talked with him for about a minute or so and he gave me his autograph. It was a great moment for me as an 11 year old.

Another great moment for me came the next year. Dayton used to have a golf tournament called "Bogey Busters". I signed up to caddy that tournament when I was 12. I got to caddy for Bobby Knight (my Dad cringed when he heard who I was assigned to) but the best part was that Johnny Bench was in the same group as Bobby Knight, so I got to meet him, too. He was my idol when I was a little kid.

Redsland
06-15-2005, 12:02 PM
I've seen Ray Knight in the Gold Star in Covington and Jim Brower in the food court in the Florence Mall.
Were they wearing paper hats?

:)

Edd Roush
06-15-2005, 12:13 PM
For only still being a teenager, I've had my fair share of Major League experiences.

My first one was 3 or 4 years ago in Atlanta. My dad, my younger brother and I went down to Turner Field to catch a couple of games. The first night of the trip we caught a Braves-Padres game when Reggie Sanders played for the Padres. I got a few players autographs and then Reggie Sanders ran in from batting practice and I yelled, "Reggie, I wish we still had you in Cincinnati." He saw my Reds jersey and kind of waved. A few minutes later Reggie comes running out with a baseball and threw it up to me. I caught it and saw it was signed by him. My Reggie respect grew greatly that night.

The next night the Redlegs rolled into town and during warmups I was one of the few fans trying to get the Reds autographs. It started raining while some of the Reds were tossing when out of no where Aaron Boone lets one sail over Jason Larue's head. I run up and get my second ball in two days!! I was so pumped. Lightning ensued and the players went inside. Half an hour later, some of the Reds relievers came outside to get loose. One of them was Scott Sullivan. My dad is one of those west-side boys who is just social to every one (and in turn embarrases me greatly). Any ways, he went up to talk to Sully, since it was a rain delay many fair-weathered Braves fans left so my dad and Sully talked for a while. I joined in talking and learned that Sully was just a terrific guy. A few years later, during the firesale of 2003, I went down to the Reds dugout to see good old Sully signing some autographs. I asked him if he was going to be traded, he looked me in the eye and said, I think so but I'd hate it. Sure enough one of my favorite Reds departed just to save a few bucks.

The last story I can recall was also a few years back, at the beginning of interleague play. My dad took my brother and I to the White Sox hotel to go get some autographs. The Big Hurt didn't come out but I got like 16 autographs or something. Most players signed for my brother, myself and two autograph hunters and then borded the team bus. However, Keith Foulke was different. We talked for a few minutes and then my dad got a picture of us with him. Great, great guy, no one more deserving of a WS ring.

Those are my experiences to date.

MrCinatit
06-15-2005, 12:59 PM
i know autograph shows are usually just "turnstile" events...you know..."move them on through"...but there were a couple which stick in my mind.
one was Stan Musial - yeah, i know, he was a redBIRD, but still one heck of a classy gentleman. i was just some 14-year-old punk at the time...but...it was THE MAN! a very friendly man, actually took the time to talk with every person for about half a minute, which was just a thrill. i think i managed to spurt out "Glaifrirhg, Mr. Musahoaoaprel" (though i could have called him Mr. Mantle, for all i know).

much later, Paul O'Neill was signing at the old Piqua East Mall. he was still rather young...i think it was right after the '89 season. because of the state of the Reds' team at the time, the turn out was embarassingly small - i think i stood in a line of 12 other people.
in my posession, i have a 1982 Cedar Rapids Reds set, with Paul's first card. i plopped that sucker down in front of him and his eyes got as wide as saucers.
"Where did you get that!" he asked. i explained i had bought them at a giftshop in Cooperstown. He only shook his head. i really need to find that card and post it sometime - he had some serious 'fro stuff going on in '82, and he seemed ashamed someone had actually seen it.
he then started talking about the rest of the team...youngsters such as Kal Daniels, Eric The Red, i think Ron Robinson was with the team at the time...a very large number of future-Reds for (i think) a single A team.
while talking about this, the look in his eyes was a rather classic look. i think he started thinking back to the old times again, when he was just a kid starting out with the team. felt pretty good, actually.

IowaRed
06-15-2005, 01:29 PM
1982 Cedar Rapids Reds included Paul O'Neill, E.D., Rob Murphy, Scott Terry, Kurt Kepshire and I believe it was the year that Jeff Jones hit a Midwest League record 42 HRs.

savafan
06-15-2005, 01:52 PM
I met George Foster and Ken Griffey at my first Reds game. I was a couple months old, and my dad let them both hold me. That's the story I get anyway, I don't really remember.

I've told this story quite a few times. I was at a flea market in 1991 when I was 14 years old. I was standing in line to get a hot dog with my dad. After the guy in front of us got his kid's food and turned around, I recognized that it was Paul O'Neill. So, like anyone would do, I asked him, "Are you Paul O'Neill?" He smiled and said that he was. I talked to his son briefly while he and my dad had a long conversation. While they were talking, I found my way to the nearest vendor selling baseball cards and bought every Paul O'Neill card that he had. Paul signed every one of those cards for me. It was well over 20 different baseball cards. He was very soft spoken and seemed somewhat shy, yet very personable.

KearnsyEars
06-15-2005, 02:06 PM
jr. isnt that friendly to meet away from the field....is dunn?

I can say aaron boone, sean casey, and sullivan were great in person.

OldRightHander
06-15-2005, 02:22 PM
Even though I started this thread, I still find one thing funny. We see these guys in an everyday setting, at the grocery, buying an ice cream cone, eating lunch at a restaurant, and we make a big deal about it. "Hey, did you know that I saw Adam Dunn putting gas in his car once. Imagine that. He actually has to stop at the gas station on occasion. I thought only peons like us had to do that." Now, I'm as guilty as anyone else of making a deal of these things, but I still think it's kind of funny that we find some amusement in the fact that ballplayers do every day things just like we do. It's like we don't expect them to have normal lives too. Incidentally, I saw Paul O'Neill at a hockey game up at the Gardens about 4 or 5 years ago, but I left him alone because I figured he was probably there for the same reason I was, to watch a hockey game. There were some kids who didn't see things the way I did, so I don't know how much of that game he actually got to watch.

RosieRed
06-15-2005, 02:49 PM
I don't have any great stories, but I'll share a few anyway. :)

I ran into Ken Griffey Sr. and George Foster a few times at a game last year when I was sitting in my company's box suite and they were in the suite next to us. Almost bumped right into Griffey Sr. when he was coming off an elevator and I was getting on it. It was weird; normally I'm not all that shy, but I couldn't bring myself to go up and interrupt him, even just to say hi. So I didn't talk to him or Foster. :)

Saw Boomer Esiason at a Starbucks in Cincinnati last year. Not a Reds player, I know, but it was so random. I have no idea what he was doing in town; it was a weekday.

Not a random sighting, but one year at RedsFest I had a nice conversation with Corky Miller. No one was in his line but me. :lol:

Saw John Bale at a bar in Cincinnati a few years ago. He was all by himself, and looked pretty unhappy. I've seen quite a few visiting players at the same bar, but I've never tried talking to them. (A friend of mine tried to talk to Jason Kendall, when he was still with the Pirates, and Kendall was super-rude.)

And, many of you have already heard this one, but Creek and I ran into Dunn, Kearns and Graves at a bar in Florida during ST. We were sitting at a table right next to them. They're good at tossing back drinks. (Belisle was also there, but not sitting with them and I have no idea who he was with.) Before we left I went over to talk to Dunn, Kearns and Graves for a minute. They were all very polite, especially Graves. Dunn winked at me. (Had to throw that in for Creek. ;) ) Aurilia showed up a few minutes later and him and Danny left. Dunn and Kearns left too, for a strip club.

SunDeck
06-15-2005, 02:52 PM
My dad is one of those west-side boys who is just social to every one (and in turn embarrases me greatly).

Bingo!
If we're out at a restaurant with my dad and we can't find him we know to look in the kitchen because he'll be there talking to the cooks, the owner, the guy filling the pepsi machine, anyone.

One of our all time great player encounters came when my dad cut Pete off on 5th street. He pulled up at Walnut and started yelling at my dad from inside his Rolls. My dad told him he'd kick is --s if he didn't think it would keep the Reds from beating the Dodgers in the pennant race. Pete thought that was pretty funny and that was the end of it.

OldRightHander
06-15-2005, 02:57 PM
One of our all time great player encounters came when my dad cut Pete off on 5th street. He pulled up at Walnut and started yelling at my dad from inside his Rolls. My dad told him he'd kick is --s if he didn't think it would keep the Reds from beating the Dodgers in the pennant race. Pete thought that was pretty funny and that was the end of it.

That's keeping priorities straight.

Jesus Freak
06-15-2005, 03:23 PM
I saw David Weathers eating lunch at TGIFriday's the other day.

Pretty cool, eh? I bet you're all jealous. ;) :laugh:

Did you get his autograph? Was he dressed like Tackleberry? We need more info.

RedsFan75
06-15-2005, 03:32 PM
Not a Red's player but spent some time talking to Jimmy Wynn, of the Astro's. Very nice guy. He was at a function thrown by my company at the time when I was working in Texas. He, Nolan Ryan, and Roger Staubach were at the even. Spoke at length to Wynn... Seems not many folks knew who Wynn was but lots of folks around Ryan and Staubach. Got to speak briefly to Staubach, Ryan was nice, and spoke to him longer. Learned he was launching the Round Rock Express about 2 weeks before it hit the paper.

Wynn, seemed to be impressed that I knew he'd hit the longest HR at Crosley and autographed a ball for me.

Jesus Freak
06-15-2005, 03:32 PM
My friends and I heckled David Weathers before a game at Riverfront Stadium when he played with the Marlins (I think it was his rookie year). He was shagging flyballs and we kept chanting "Batboy" at him. He kept saying, "I am a "bad boy." After the game, we were over getting autographs where the players come out when we saw him. We all started chanting "Batboy" and his girlfriend started dying laughing. He came over and shook our hands while he laughed it off.

Cedric
06-15-2005, 03:38 PM
I talk with Chief Bender about weekly where I work. I don't even know what he does anymore, but he always gives me some info on breaking stuff.

Reds Fanatic
06-15-2005, 03:50 PM
My only direct encounter with a Reds player was with Pete Rose was when I was about 14 or 15. A local car dealer had a promotion going where if you bought a car you got to go a dinner where Pete Rose was the featured speaker. Well my Dad was buying a car so we were invited to this dinner. After Pete spoke each person got to meet Pete and get pictures or autographs after the dinner. Before talking I was really excited meet one of my idols growing up. But when we talked I went completely blank and could not think of anything to say.

NYMoose
06-15-2005, 04:21 PM
This encounter was not with a Reds player, but I think it is a little funny. My wife and 9 year old son were staying at a hotel in New Hampshire (I forget why we were even there). The wife and I were sitting in a hot tub next to the pool while our son played in the pool. Being a huge Montreal Canadiens fan I had on my usual Canadiens hat. Montreal had just been bounced out of the playoffs and their rivals, the Boston Bruins had also been knocked out.

I noticed a guy slide into the hot tub across from us, he looked familiar. I figured out who it was and mentioned it to my wife. She looked at me like I was stupid, nothing new there. So after a few minutes the guy says to me, "How are your Canadiens doing?" So being the big Canadiens fan I say, "Playing golf, just like the Bruins." The guy starts to laugh. I said to him, "You're Mike Milbury aren't you?" He started to laugh. Yes it was Mike. We chatted with him for an hour or so, real nice guy.

SunDeck
06-15-2005, 04:27 PM
My only direct encounter with a Reds player was with Pete Rose was when I was about 14 or 15. A local car dealer had a promotion going where if you bought a car you got to go a dinner where Pete Rose was the featured speaker. Well my Dad was buying a car so we were invited to this dinner. After Pete spoke each person got to meet Pete and get pictures or autographs after the dinner. Before talking I was really excited meet one of my idols growing up. But when we talked I went completely blank and could not think of anything to say.

You were channeling me. Sorry about that.

TeamSelig
06-15-2005, 04:51 PM
Bingo!
One of our all time great player encounters came when my dad cut Pete off on 5th street. He pulled up at Walnut and started yelling at my dad from inside his Rolls. My dad told him he'd kick is --s if he didn't think it would keep the Reds from beating the Dodgers in the pennant race. Pete thought that was pretty funny and that was the end of it.

Best post ever.

Coffeybro
06-15-2005, 05:53 PM
Everyone here knows it would be easy for me to start telling about who I've ran into in real life now that Todd's with the Reds, so this isn't who I've met but what I witnessed in Cincinnati when a boy recognized Todd. I don't know if I've posted this before on here. This was the day after Todd's first mlb appearance and Todd, our parents, his wife and kids, and I were in the Reds gift shop at the stadium around lunch time. Todd was checking out for us so we could use his discount. :thumbup: A 9 or 10 year old redheaded boy walked up behind him. He stared up at Todd and asked, "Sir, are you Todd Coffey?" Todd turns around smiling and says "Yes, I am." The kid asked "Can I shake your hand?" While Todd is shaking his hand the boy's eyes are wide open while he just says "WOW". Here I am watching this all happen with a mixture of feelings. After only one game in the Majors, here a kid is looking up to my brother like he is somekind of superstar/hero and then again its just my little brother. This one moment brought back all the memories of Todd and I going to Braves games and playing baseball for our dad who coached us from T-ball until High School. The kid never asks for anything else while shaking Todd's hand. Todd bought a ball for the kid signed it and gave it to him. It was probably the most surreal and memorable moment I had while in Cincinnati.

Super_Barry11
06-15-2005, 05:58 PM
Aww, Coffeybro, that's such a sweet story!! It definitely made me smile!! :)

I met Todd in NYC last May, and when I went up to ask for his autograph, he gave me the weirdest look at first. For a moment, I was afraid that he had a clone walking around, and that I had asked the wrong guy for an autograph!! :p: But the "deer in the headlights" look disappeared, and he was very nice and signed for me. :thumbup:

Tommyjohn25
06-15-2005, 07:04 PM
The only encounter with a Red that I ever had was during the all star break of 1995. I was with my brother at Kings Island standing in line for the Vortex, when my bro taps me on the shoulder and whispers "that's Reggie Sanders standing right in front of us", of course I thought he was messing with me as older brothers often do so I decided to call his bluff, I promptly yelled "Reggie!". My brother quickly turned away in embarrassment as I stood there like an idiot (I couldn't see him before since I was right behind him and he was much bigger than me) as Reggie turned around, he looked at me and softly said "Yes?" I was speechless since I didn't think it was really him, so my brother made me look even worse by telling him exactly why I yelled his name. I got the last laugh though, Reggie and his girlfriend/wife ended up sitting right in front of us on the ride, and apparently I was the only one that wasn't afraid of roller coasters as I thought it would be funny as Reggie was screaming like a little girl to pat him on the shoulder from my seat and yell to him that he was going to be fine.

savafan
06-15-2005, 07:22 PM
The only encounter with a Red that I ever had was during the all star break of 1995. I was with my brother at Kings Island standing in line for the Vortex, when my bro taps me on the shoulder and whispers "that's Reggie Sanders standing right in front of us", of course I thought he was messing with me as older brothers often do so I decided to call his bluff, I promptly yelled "Reggie!". My brother quickly turned away in embarrassment as I stood there like an idiot (I couldn't see him before since I was right behind him and he was much bigger than me) as Reggie turned around, he looked at me and softly said "Yes?" I was speechless since I didn't think it was really him, so my brother made me look even worse by telling him exactly why I yelled his name. I got the last laugh though, Reggie and his girlfriend/wife ended up sitting right in front of us on the ride, and apparently I was the only one that wasn't afraid of roller coasters as I thought it would be funny as Reggie was screaming like a little girl to pat him on the shoulder from my seat and yell to him that he was going to be fine.

:laugh:

oneupper
06-15-2005, 07:41 PM
I met Roberto Clemente briefly in Puerto Rico. My best friend was the batboy for the San Juan Senators and Clemente was the manager. He died the next year.

But the "player encounter" I remember the most was with Frank Robinson. He was managing the Santurce Cangrejeros (my favorite team) in 1972 and lived in the same apartment complex as I did (with my parents...I'm not that old).
A bunch of players did (Elrod Hendricks and Don Baylor come to mind). He used to hang out by the pool with daughter (IIRC) and I'd bug him about the team.

I remember one particular game when the team was up 9-1 going into the bottom of the ninth (we were on the road) and ended up losing 10-9 (I am not exaggerating...it actually happened). I ran into Robinson the next day in the lobby and called out "Hey Frank, what happened?" (yeah...smart ass kid). He just shrugged his shoulders and shook his head and said "It won't happen again".

(Now I realize...as if...that kind of thing happens every 50 years or so.)

He always really nice but I never asked him for an autograph.

goodwilly98
06-15-2005, 08:58 PM
I was at the Head First Sports Bar on 3rd Street on Opening Day this year, and we were over there celebrating a Reds victory after the game. A little while later, Ryan Freel walks in. He gets really upset at first when he's not allowed to go behind the bar and make his drinks like apparently he is usually able to. Anyway, I'm up by the bar, and he is standing beside me, and we get to talking, he buys me a beer, and we talk for a few minutes. Well he's pretty hammered, and then him and the guy he's with leave 10 minutes later or so, and of course the rest is history as later that night he gets his DUI. Seeing him after the game, I can definitely see how this happened!!

realreds1
06-15-2005, 09:04 PM
I was at the Head First Sports Bar on 3rd Street on Opening Day this year, and we were over there celebrating a Reds victory after the game. A little while later, Ryan Freel walks in. He gets really upset at first when he's not allowed to go behind the bar and make his drinks like apparently he is usually able to. Anyway, I'm up by the bar, and he is standing beside me, and we get to talking, he buys me a beer, and we talk for a few minutes. Well he's pretty hammered, and then him and the guy he's with leave 10 minutes later or so, and of course the rest is history as later that night he gets his DUI. Seeing him after the game, I can definitely see how this happened!!


Umm... if your story is true, I'm really sorry to hear about this run-in, as this isn't the kind fo run-in with a ballplayer (a well-liked ballplayer) that one would truly want to remember. I couldn't imagine the embarrassment that Freel must have felt the morning after with his mug shot plastered over every news outlet and his subsequent apologies. I really couldn't imagine it.

goodwilly98
06-15-2005, 11:02 PM
Umm... if your story is true, I'm really sorry to hear about this run-in, as this isn't the kind fo run-in with a ballplayer (a well-liked ballplayer) that one would truly want to remember. I couldn't imagine the embarrassment that Freel must have felt the morning after with his mug shot plastered over every news outlet and his subsequent apologies. I really couldn't imagine it.

Yeah, I didn't say it was a pleasant encounter in the end, but it was a player encounter nontheless. No doubt he was embarrassed beyond belief. But I'm sure he learned from it, and is a better person because of it. He has went on to have around a .300 BA after all ;)

TeamBoone
06-15-2005, 11:16 PM
Awesome, Coffeybro. I can't even imagine what that must have felt like... for either of you.

:devil: Now, give us some juice on the rest of the guys.

BTW, is Todd single, unattached?

TeamBoone
06-15-2005, 11:17 PM
Sundeck, that was priceless... and good for your Dad!!

ochre
06-15-2005, 11:58 PM
Family friend went to the same college as Mike Hargrove. He graduated right before Hargrove was there, or shortly after Hargrove got there. He came through Ohio in the mid-90s and stayed with my parents, so he, my brother, my dad, and I went up to see an Indians game. It was pretty cool. It was the last year they were in there old stadium. We went up to the screen and our friend called Hargrove over and started talking to him. I think that might have been Mitchell's last year with the Reds, as it seems like we talked about some controversy involving Mitchell when he found out we were Reds fans. A bp ball rolled up to the wall and Hargrove gave it to my brother.

After the game we waited by the player exit to talk to Hargrove again. Albert Belle spent probably 45 minutes signing things for everybody that was there outside the door. We were toward the back, because we knew Hargrove would come over to our friend anyway. My brother handed Belle the BP ball for him to sign. He signed and then looked at me, like "what's wrong with you, don't you have something you want me to sign?". He didn't say that, but he must have been thinking it from his expression and body language. :). Carlos Baerga spent a ton of time out there too. It was a neat experience.

919191
06-16-2005, 03:04 AM
Were they wearing paper hats?

:)

No, they were just picking trays up off the trash containers. ;)

Coffeybro
06-16-2005, 09:53 AM
BTW, is Todd single, unattached?

Sorry for those hoping he is but he has been married for 6 years now with 2 kids.

ThatsAStrike
06-16-2005, 03:43 PM
Great thread. Thanks for posting it in Reds Live so everyone can participate.

Back in 1991 my sister and I went to Eastgate Mall to stand in line for Paul O'Neill's autograph. This being the year after the Reds won the World Series, you can imagine the line was pretty long. They finally had to stop letting people get in line, and they cut it right behind my sister and me, so we were last in line! Paul smiled and signed autographs and talked to people for over two hours, and by the time my sister and I got to him, he was just as friendly to us as if we were the first two in line. I still have the 8x10 black and white photo with his signature on it. I miss ol' Paul. He was always one of my favorites.

Betterread
06-16-2005, 06:56 PM
This is about the best celebrity encounter story I have heard from someone I know:

I went to visit my son, Nathan, in Portland, Oregon, in September of 2002. He had been living there just a few months and was loving it. He wanted me to come out and play, so I did.

As we drove through the sights and sounds of Portland, Nathan, realizing he had a captive audience, and it was his dad, no less, began, in his haphazard way, to cram CDs into the player. He would rustle through his large lap books gorged with CDs while driving full tilt through Portland traffic to feed the player with Flogging Molly, the Mountain Goats, Less Than Jake, and whatever ska was new and undiscovered by everyone but him. He was giving me massive sound bites into where he was, but they were coming so fast, loud, and heavy that assimilation was impossible.

Then he said, "Oh, I think you'll like this," and he put in Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by the Flaming Lips. He played all the CD, unheard-of in his attention-deficit world. While the tracks progressed, he told me the story he had heard involving the album, how the band had befriended a Japanese woman while touring overseas and how, later, they began getting cryptic e-mails from her sisters regarding her state of health. The translation in the e-mails was very inexact, but it appeared she was dying, or perhaps was already dead, from a heart ailment of some type.

Nathan related the story over the soundtrack that was the CD. "Do you realize—that happiness makes you cry? Do you realize—that everyone you know someday will die?" The richness of the tale about transcendence and journeys, life and death, left me profoundly shaken, almost exhausted. He saw my reaction as he swerved along and gratefully paused a few beats before slamming in Toys That Kill.

During that week with my son, he showed me many things in "his" town, we ate some marvelous cheap Mexican food, went to see Wilco at Roseland, but through all this, I continued to ponder this beautiful story I had been assaulted with.

I returned home, very weary, very satisfied from my short visit.

December 2, Nathan went to see Beck and the Flaming Lips in Portland. One week later, Nathan suffered a brain-stem bleed and was dead within five days.

Going through his belongings, I found two copies of Yoshimi.

Mid-2003, I received some correspondence from a girl that worked with Nathan at the bakery. She said that he had remarked the night of the concert that he would love to appear onstage with the Flaming Lips. The concert really jacked him. She went on to say that the Lips had just played another concert in Portland and that she and a few other girls from the bakery had, oddly enough, been invited onstage during the show. Wayne Coyne was told the story of Nathan, and in her correspondence was a show flyer signed by him, stating simply "Nathan RIP Do You Realize?," and several freehand drawings of the cover of Yoshimi.

Do you realize—that everyone you know someday will die?
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes—let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round

Redleg75
06-16-2005, 07:20 PM
When I was 9 years old I asked Charlie Moore of the brewers during a spring training game for an autograph. He said he'd do it after the game. I was skeptical, he came out of the locker room with a towel around him looking for me. When he found me I didn't know what to make of it. I thought it was some sort of prank. I didn't really know what he looked like and I said no thanks. Later I saw his baseball card and realized it really was him. Felt like a jerk for about 15 years.

westofyou
06-16-2005, 07:29 PM
Great Story Betterread... I was at all those aforementioned shows too.

pedro
06-16-2005, 07:36 PM
That's heartbreaking Betterread.

Nathan sounds like he was a great guy. I'm very sorry for your loss.

RFS62
06-17-2005, 08:15 AM
Betterread, that was a very beautiful, very moving story.

KronoRed
06-17-2005, 11:01 AM
Betterread..great story

BuckeyeRedleg
06-17-2005, 12:31 PM
Betterread, thank you for sharing such a beautiful story.

It sounds like Nathan was a very lucky guy to have such a wonderful Dad.

I'm sorry for your loss. I'll hug my son a little harder today and tomorrow.

Happy Fathers Day.