Tear down of the Metrodome Stadium in Minneapolis begins this week, and my favorite coaching position with the MN Twins is filled with a new leader. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share a story from when I was a kid. Here is my favorite baseball story:
My dad took two of my friends and me to a Twins baseball game at the Metrodome sometime in the mid 90s. I must have been in 6th grade or so. We had seats in the upper deck behind left field. We squinted to see the game, but often times people watching is more fun, and we had a good view of a rowdy bunch a few rows in front of us. My friend, Natalie, also noticed a player sitting on the side lines with the name Hector on his back. She decided he was cute, and since he wasn’t playing, we stole some closer seats to the edge of the balcony and tried to get his attention. He winked at us. Natalie was star stricken.
After we returned to our seats, a fly ball was hit and caught by the Twins left fielder. As the crowd cheered, the left fielder threw the ball into the stands, right at the rowdy group a few rows ahead of us. The group was drunk enough to flub the catch. The ball bounced back to our row, and Natalie got it. Her next plan would be to get Hector to sign the ball.
After the game, my dad took us to stand with other fans outside of the parking lot where the Twins players exited the stadium and went to their cars. Hector came out and the only fan screaming his name was Natalie, holding up her baseball. This player, who didn’t play at all during the game, and was probably only on the 40 man roster, ignored his fan, got into his slick car, and speed away. Before Natalie could sulk too much, my dad had good news for her.
“Wait, wait, hold your ball up for this guy! Get him over here!” my dad chirped, as another player came out of the stadium. My dad was in a hurry, thinking he’d miss this opportunity, but this player was slowly and carefully making his way down the line of fans, signing balls, and asking if he’d missed anyone. “Over here!” – my dad helped Natalie hold the ball in the air.
The player signed the ball with a warm smile and returned it to an unimpressed Natalie, who looked down at the signature and scoffed “Paul Molitor!?”
Today, I am excited that the Twins have selected Hall of Famer Paul Molitor to their coaching staff. He’ll be responsible for base running tactics, bunting, and infield defense – my three absolute favorite parts of Baseball. As a player, my personal strengths are smart base running, bunting, and infield defense (I’m a terrible power hitter). Congrats to Paul Molitor. If I wasn’t so in love with the music industry, I’d be very jealous of his career.