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Thread: Experiences w/ballplayers-Good and Bad?

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    Member Spitball's Avatar
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    Experiences w/ballplayers-Good and Bad?

    I was reading the "favorite player" thread and saw Buddy Bell mentioned. I started to post a story about my son's experience with him, but decided it might highjack the thread. So, I'm starting a new one.

    Back in the mid-'80's, my oldest loved Buddy Bell when he was in kindergarten and first grade. He also loved Steve Grogan, the New England Patriots' quarterback at the time. My son wrote to both and told them what a big fan he was, and he included a self addressed stamped envelope and asked for an autograph. I must say the letters were written in laborious block print with several misspellings, but they were very sweet.

    Anyway, Steve Grogan ignored the SASE and sent him a packet of stuff, including a written response, an autographed individual photo, and a team picture. Buddy Bell didn't respond, so he sent him another letter and self addressed stamped envelope. My son kept going to the mailbox to check, but again, no response. I don't remember how many times or strategies he tried, but he wrote him several more times before he gave up.

    I remember being a thirteen year-old and going to Fenway in 1966 to see Frank Robinson and the Orioles play the Red Sox. After the game, we joined several other fans trying to get autographs outside the park. The Orioles were loading on a bus and while they waited several signed scorecards and such that were passed through windows. I had on a Cincinnati Reds shirt and stood outside Frank Robinson's window and begged him to sign my scorecard. Finally, Brooks Robinson signaled for me to hand him the scorecard. He took it to Frank who scribbled F.R followed by a short wiggly mark and gave it back to Brooks. Brooks wrote something, signed it also, and handed it back.

    Another time, Boston pitcher Jose Santiago was locked out of his car after a game. He was in some distress but still took the time to sign my scorecard. Nice guy.

    Another time in 1968, Johnny Bench loaned my sister and me a dime after a game to call our dad because we had car trouble. He also waited with us until my dad arrived. Nice guy.

    I have a few more, but I've rambled longer than I planned. Anybody else have stories?
    Last edited by Spitball; 06-17-2006 at 01:02 PM.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

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    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
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    Re: Experiences w/ballplayers-Godd and Bad?

    Jose Lima tossed my 6 and 4 year old each a baseball in Cleveland last year. Lima Time even gave them high-fives. He probably tossed over 10-12 balls in the stands down the first baseline.

    He started the game and even game the folks in the bleachers 4 or 5 balls. THe only exception was they were tossed by Lima and swatted by Indians over the fence.

    Nice guy though. Wayyyyy to laid back...and wayyyy short on talent. Unless it involved the buffet line.
    Some people play baseball. Baseball plays Jay Bruce.

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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Experiences w/ballplayers-Good and Bad?

    It was prior to a 1966 game with the Giants - I was 11 yrs old and ran into Pete Rose in the causeway at Crosley Field as he entered the game. He had his bat and glove in hand, and was surrounded by youth as I stood there, in awe, and watched him walk by.

    Harvey Haddix, who retired back to our area, use to come to our Little League ballgames all the time (unbeknownst to me). I was in the county All-Star game, and was leading off. The opposing pitcher was a classmate, and one big kid. he was one of those pitchers that most little leaguers hated to face, and mainly because you were afriad of getting HBP. This kid could throw a baseball. He almost hit me, and knocked me on my butt with the first pitch. I still remember it as if it were yesterday. Instead of getting up scared, I got up mader then all get-out. I must have fouled off the next 5-6 pitches, as I was furious and very determined. I ended up hitting a homerun over the CFer's head... and I was not one who hit homeruns.

    After the game, Harvey Haddix came up to me with my Dad and said he had watched me off and on that summer, and said I was one heck of a ballplayer. That really meant alot to me.

    I got to meet one of favorite Reds players growing up in SS Leo Cardenas, during last year's HOF Induction ceremonies in Cincy. When I heard he was in the hall I had to search him out. I was a SS/2bman in little league, and he was one of the Res players I really loved (next to Vada Pinson). He was a very gracious/humble man. The whole time he kept asking me if I had met the new Red's draft pick Jay Bruce? He was really braggin' up on that kid. So I seacrhed out Jay and got to meet him too.
    Last edited by GAC; 07-20-2006 at 07:18 AM.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Member Spitball's Avatar
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    Re: Experiences w/ballplayers-Good and Bad?

    GAC, which one are you???
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Experiences w/ballplayers-Good and Bad?

    I think GAC is that guy on the right in both pictures

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    Duranie Ho, Ho, Ho! KittyDuran's Avatar
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    Re: Experiences w/ballplayers-Good and Bad?

    I passed Ryan Freel [in a brown 3-piece suit, natch!] last year on the street near the Marriott DT Cleveland...
    2014 Reds record when I'm attending: 23-18 - FINAL
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    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: Experiences w/ballplayers-Good and Bad?

    Wes Parker was dating my 6th grade teacher and he came to class one day.

    .... oh wait, that was Greg Brady.
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

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    Member Spitball's Avatar
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    Re: Experiences w/ballplayers-Good and Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt
    I think GAC is that guy on the right in both pictures
    That's what I thought.

    Another story. Once, a couple of friends and I took the bus to Crosley Field. After hanging around after the game to get autographs, we were going to catch the bus back to our hometown and a big black Caddy or Lincoln with Michigan plates went by. I recognized Alex Johnson driving and yelled out his name. When the car stopped we were all pretty scared because we had heard stories about him being mean. Well, we tentatively approached the car and asked him if he'd sign our scoecards. Surprisingly, he signed all three and went on his way. Despite his reputation, we found him very friendly.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Experiences w/ballplayers-Good and Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro
    Wes Parker was dating my 6th grade teacher and he came to class one day.

    .... oh wait, that was Greg Brady.


    I remember that episode.

    Didn't Don Drysdale also make an appearance on that show at one time?
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Member Spitball's Avatar
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    Re: Experiences w/ballplayers-Good and Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro
    Wes Parker was dating my 6th grade teacher and he came to class one day.

    .... oh wait, that was Greg Brady.
    Wait! Wes Parker dated Greg Brady!?!?
    Last edited by Spitball; 06-17-2006 at 04:47 PM.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

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    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: Experiences w/ballplayers-Good and Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine


    I remember that episode.

    Didn't Don Drysdale also make an appearance on that show at one time?
    I believe so. As did Joe Namath.
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

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    Duranie Ho, Ho, Ho! KittyDuran's Avatar
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    Re: Experiences w/ballplayers-Good and Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro
    I believe so. As did Joe Namath.
    Roman Gabriel and Rosey Grier, IIRC, as well. There was also another LA Ram in the "Canary" episode wasn't there?
    2014 Reds record when I'm attending: 23-18 - FINAL
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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Experiences w/ballplayers-Good and Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro
    I believe so. As did Joe Namath.
    Yeah, but that wasn't like the time his engine got vapor lock in Springfield.

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    Member schroomytunes's Avatar
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    Re: Experiences w/ballplayers-Good and Bad?

    As A kid working at Nuxhall's Batting range in Fairfield I got to meet a few Reds every year. I will have to say I was impressed with Paul Oneill and Chris Sabo, real down to earth guys, Now Larkin on the other hand acted like he was too good to be around us. I met Frank Catalonnotto in Toronto last year during a Yankee series, he came into Gretsky's bar after the game and hung with the Yankee fans, real good guy, just acted like the rest of the bar patrons, then went home when his daughter came in to get him she was @5-6years old, he's just a good guy, too bad the Reds couldn't get him.

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    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: Experiences w/ballplayers-Good and Bad?

    Jack Billingham lived around the corner from me. He was the most laid back guy you could imagine and was just a regular neighbor to all of us. His son and I played on the same baseball team and Jack came to our practices. I pitched and he actually taught me how to hold the ball with two fingers across the seams. A four seamer....from Jack Billingham! The only thing is, it wasn't a big deal because he was just Mr. Billingham, who by the way, pitched for the Reds.

    I met Pete Rose when I was about eight. All I remember is that I was petrified. Couldn't say a word. My mom said Pete thought it was pretty cute...I've never heard the end of it, speechless in front of my idol.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.


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