Wednesday, October 01, 2008

We Interrupt Our Programming For A Sporting Life Anecdote...



It was aging slugger Jim Thome who hit the big home run to put the Chi-Sox and the Cubbies into the same playoff for the first time since the last great Republican President of the United States stomped on the terra.

Which is kind of interesting, for me at least, because I talked to Thome, in a manner of speaking, very briefly once, up close and personal.

It was the summer of 1991 and he was then still an up-and-coming young cornerman with little power who was splitting his time between the Cleveland Schmindians and their Triple A affiliate, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.

And it was while he was playing for the Sky Sox that I talked to him.

Back than I was just finishing up gradual school, and because I went to a game at Nat Bailey Stadium with one of the old guys who'd taught me a thing or two over the years we bought good seats down low, right next to the visiting team's dugout.

It was a midweek daygame, so we had to skip time from the lab to take in the action in what was kind of like a very mild version of Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I forget the inning now, but I do remember that it was at one of those 2 or 3 critical points that come up in every ballgame and Thome was on deck......and as he fiddled with his wrist bands, he gazed past the screen that separated 'us from them' , looked right at us..... and said.....

"Sure must be nice to be sittin' there all afternoon watchin' us guys who work for a livin', huh?"

Then he spat tobacco juice, smiled, and walked toward the plate, bat in hand.

Can't remember what he did while he was up there (although I'm sure it's written down on an old scorecard somewhere in my piles), but I sure as heck never forgot what he said.



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