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View Full Version : The Day I Met Tom Browning...



cincyforever
07-31-2011, 12:38 AM
I am going be quick about this -- I live in Lima but am staying in Rhode Island as I visit my girlfriend for the summer.

So, today, I go to the Providence Place Mall and am wandering about wasting time and stuff and I decide to go into Lids. As I walk in, I'm greeted by an employee who asks me if I am from Cincinnati (because I had a Reds hat on and the Homage "Cincy" tee shirt). I proceeded to say no but that I was 2 and a half hours north of it. After that, an older gentlement entered the conversation and said "Oh, so you are from Lima?" and then I was like "yeah.. unfortunately.. blah blah" and then he told me he knew of Lima because he was from Cincinnati. So after that small talk I left the store.

As I was riding down the escalator, this man caught up to me to ask me what brought me to Rhode Island and so I told him that I'm just visiting or whatever and then I asked him what he was doing here from Cincy and well, I'll just give you some dialogue here..

Me: "What brings you here from Cincinnati?"
TB: "I'm the pitching coach for the Reds AAA team."
Me: "Oh so you are like, the Bryan Price of the Louisville Bats?"
TB: "Yeah.. that's me."
Me: "Pleasure to meet you. I'm Ryan.. I'll actually be at the game on Monday 3 rows behind the Bats dugout."
TB: "(chuckling) I'll be there as well! Nice to meet you Ryan. Tom Browning is my name."
Me: "Nice to meet you too!"

And then we departed. After we had departed, his name was ringing one thousand bells in my head but I could not recollect a "Tom Browning". I knew I had heard it numerous times.. it seemed as if I heard his name every day and I couldn't put a finger on it.

So, I whipped out my Droid X and google'd "Tom Browning" and my jaw dropped, heart stopped and I had a smile about 50x the size of Rhode Island. I could not believe I couldn't remember who this man was. I was born in 1990 so I don't remember watching him play since I didn't start following baseball until about 2003-2004, but I knew this guy. I heard his name on Reds Live. I heard his name being tossed about in conversations about the Reds and their win in 1991. I started reading about him... 20-8, 3.55 ERA as a rookie. 12th pitcher ever to throw a perfect game, almost had one more in 1989 but lost it in the top on the 9th against Philadelphia, World Series Champion in '91, etc.

I could not believe it. I was shellshocked.. I really was. He was so humble. He mentioned nothing about being a ballplayer let alone what he accomplished in his career, and he was just chilling in Lids trying on random hats.

I'm still smiling about it. It was awesome!

sdwagers
07-31-2011, 01:08 AM
very down to earth guy for certain. I ll always remember seeing him on the rooftop across the street in Wrigleyville on the national game of the week. Classic stuff.

ervinsm84
07-31-2011, 02:30 AM
I have a pretty awesome and unique Tom Browning story too.

I was 8 years old at the time because I had just learned how to write in cursive in school earlier that year. My dad and I were down in the blue seats at riverfront on the 1st base reds side. We had gotten there early enough when they were taking batting practice and lots of kids and fans were trying to get autographs and balls, mostly from barry larkin, because what cincinnati kid didnt want barry larkins autograph in 1993.

Well, at the time I didnt really know much about Tom Browning pitching wise, but I knew the name and I remembered hearing about him going on the buildings at Wrigley and thought that was so cool. This was apparently his first trip back to Riverfront since he had gotten in trouble for leaving the dugout and watching the Reds game at Wrigley up on one of the buildings. So, he was giving a bunch of interviews and while i was trying to fight my way through the crowd that was trying to get barrys attention my dad pointed out to me that Tom Brownings interview was done and I could probably get his attention.

So i go sprinting over there with a ball and glove in my hand and wide eyed and nervous bc i had seen this guy all over tv and asked him, "Mr. Browning, Can I have my autograph?" while handing him my glove and ball.

He kinda looks at me weird and smirks and kinda nods a yea sure. As hes signing my ball and glove he looked back up and is what like, "hey kid, wait a second. You asked 'can i have my autograph.' That means you need to give me your autograph too. Its only fair."

I kinda looked at him dumbfounded and didnt really know what to say.

He then said, "heres my glove. I want you to sign your name right here. I want your autograph." He handed me back my pen and his glove and sure enough, he had me sign my name on it.

So i got to sign Tom Brownings glove as well as get his autograph. Definitely was a pretty cool experience. Idk if it was just a practice glove, or how often he changed his gloves or what, but that was probably an interaction with a player that hooked me on baseball for life.

Ive always wondered if he'd remember that story if i saw him today, bc hes signed god knows how many different things, but Id imagine i was the only kid who ever got to sign a glove for a guy who threw a perfect game :-)

Red Raindog
07-31-2011, 08:09 AM
I have a pretty awesome and unique Tom Browning story too.

I was 8 years old at the time because I had just learned how to write in cursive in school earlier that year. My dad and I were down in the blue seats at riverfront on the 1st base reds side. We had gotten there early enough when they were taking batting practice and lots of kids and fans were trying to get autographs and balls, mostly from barry larkin, because what cincinnati kid didnt want barry larkins autograph in 1993.

Well, at the time I didnt really know much about Tom Browning pitching wise, but I knew the name and I remembered hearing about him going on the buildings at Wrigley and thought that was so cool. This was apparently his first trip back to Riverfront since he had gotten in trouble for leaving the dugout and watching the Reds game at Wrigley up on one of the buildings. So, he was giving a bunch of interviews and while i was trying to fight my way through the crowd that was trying to get barrys attention my dad pointed out to me that Tom Brownings interview was done and I could probably get his attention.

So i go sprinting over there with a ball and glove in my hand and wide eyed and nervous bc i had seen this guy all over tv and asked him, "Mr. Browning, Can I have my autograph?" while handing him my glove and ball.

He kinda looks at me weird and smirks and kinda nods a yea sure. As hes signing my ball and glove he looked back up and is what like, "hey kid, wait a second. You asked 'can i have my autograph.' That means you need to give me your autograph too. Its only fair."

I kinda looked at him dumbfounded and didnt really know what to say.

He then said, "heres my glove. I want you to sign your name right here. I want your autograph." He handed me back my pen and his glove and sure enough, he had me sign my name on it.

So i got to sign Tom Brownings glove as well as get his autograph. Definitely was a pretty cool experience. Idk if it was just a practice glove, or how often he changed his gloves or what, but that was probably an interaction with a player that hooked me on baseball for life.

Ive always wondered if he'd remember that story if i saw him today, bc hes signed god knows how many different things, but Id imagine i was the only kid who ever got to sign a glove for a guy who threw a perfect game :-)

He may still have that glove on his mantle!

cincyforever
07-31-2011, 09:14 AM
Sounds like this guy was really personable.. very likeable..