went to a pro baseball game yesterday. the game itself, and a story.
it had been a minute since i had been to an MLB game, and i picked a good one. the Rangers had the lead 3 times, and 3 times the Twins came back and tied them. then i got paid off in walk-off style (i had a little action on Texas):
the player who walked it off, Adolis Garcia, had been having a nightmare of a game up until that point. 4 ABs, 4 Ks. right before his tater tot i turned to my friend and said, "wouldn't it be fitting for this dude to end this thing after the game he's had?" bingo, bango, bongo.
some new wrinkles were added since the last time i had seen a game in the flesh. i'll touch on a couple:
1) there are high nets protecting the fans down low. no more laser shots potentially decapitating someone. why they didn't implement this, say, i don't know, half a century ago?, is beyond me.
2) the pitch clock is the best thing since sliced bread. no more jacking around. made the experience infinitely more enjoyable.
now for the story.
after the game i visited my favorite restaurant in the solar system -- Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen. my friend and i didn't feel like waiting 90 minutes for a table, so we kept an eye on the bar. after half an hour or so, a couple of spots opened up. about 10 minutes after we sat down, a seat became available next to me. a sizable african-american individual took it. that's all i knew at that point. and i say sizable because this person's legs were much longer than mine, and i'm 6'1".
a little while later, i noticed this person watching a game on their phone. i took a glance and saw that it was a WNBA tilt. my first thought was, wow, i'm sitting next to an actual fan of women's pro hoops. a few minutes later i glanced at the phone again and saw an impressive play by a big woman. great handle, great agility, great dexterity, great touch.
for some reason i blurted out, "that was a sweet move to the cup"
she replied, "thank you very much"
i quickly attempted to pick up the pieces of my mind.
a) i had no clue i was sitting next to a 6'7" female because i'm not one to stare people down, b) i didn't realize that was a replay of a game that took place earlier in the day, and c) I SURE AS HELL DIDN'T KNOW I WAS SITTING NEXT TO THE PLAYER OF SAID SWEET MOVE.
Teaira McCowan of the Dallas Wings. she was projected to be the #1 overall pick in the 2019 draft, but ultimately went third. and there she was, watching a replay of the game she had just participated in, zeroing in on areas of improvement.
all of that is impressive, no question about it, but here's what i found to be THE most impressive thing about her: she was a total sweetheart. forget pro athlete, she was the nicest human being i had chatted with in quite some time. so mind-bogglingly polite. the last thing on earth i wanted to do was pester her while she enjoyed her dinner, but i did slip in some occasional hoops talk when i saw an opportunity. and when i spoke, she acted like it was more important than what she was eating and drinking. she asked me (and a couple of others, including my friend) what our names were. then when she got up to leave, she said "it was a pleasure meeting each of you," and she proceeded to tell everyone goodbye, followed by their first name. meanwhile, when someone tells me their first name i forget it 1.7 seconds later.
so the part of my mind that survived the first blast was then blown to smithereens.
if you've been paying attention over the years, i'm a graph hound. so you know where this is going. i had nothing........not even a pen. i snagged one from the bartender, lifted my adult beverage and said to her, "could i trouble you to sign this damn coaster for me?" that tickled her funny bone, and she gladly obliged. unsurprisingly, she did so with a smile on her face.