Will post for food
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Dublin, OH
Re: player encounters
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.
Last edited by BuckeyeRedleg; 06-14-2005 at 10:53 PM.