I pitched for Bill Buckner and Steve Garvey

June 14th, 2014. The Boise Hawks commonly have people throw out the first pitch. Dignitaries, business leaders, and when they can’t get a hold of anyone important, afternoon talk show hosts. It was dollar hot dog night. The Hawks were on that night. Hitting everything. Fielding was perfect. It was a great night at the park. Joined by my buddies Matt and Jesse, we had great seats by the Hawks dugout first base side.

I’ve always loved baseball. It runs in my genes. My grandpa was a rabid Reds fan and I, being from Cleveland, grew up an Indians fan.

A friend of mine brought some of her friends to the game too. They grabbed seats high on the 3rd base side out of the sun. They had texted me to tell me that they had missed my stellar pitching performance, but were in the park and awaited a visit. So I went to see them. Walking up to their seats, I passed a couple of guys talking. Damn they looked familiar. In walking up to see my other friend, those two guys faces stuck in my head. Then it hit me.

We made small talk with my friend, My buddy Jesse doing most of the talking. My friend was joined by a guy and two other ladies.

I tried to listen and participate in the discussion, but my mind flashed upon the numerous baseball cards I knew were still stashed in the garage in Cleveland. Those two guys.

“Play it cool!”, I thought to myself! “Don’t geek out!”

We said goodbye to my friend, walked down the steps. “This is my chance.” I said to myself. I introduced myself to the pair of All Stars.

“Hey! Did I see you throw the first pitch?” the mustached All Star asked?

“YES SIR!”, I exclaimed! Proud he noted it!

“Hope you’re a better radio host!”, he playfully exclaimed.

We chuckled, took a picture. I left them and went about watching the rest of the game with my friends.

Jesse does radio in Montana. Matt works for WWE and was my best man. The friend in the stands was someone I’d run into here and there watching Browns football games and around town, later, she’d become my wife.

Steve Garvey was in Boise watching his son play for Spokane and took the time to reminisce with his old minor league teammate Bill Buckner, who we lost this past weekend.

As a fan, we all know his story on the field, but on that day, I pitched for him.

It turned out to be a great game. Thank you Bill.

 

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