Usually not a talkative fellow, baseball brings out the chatter box in me. You may have noticed my gabby tendencies lately in recent interviews with the Dodgers and their prospects. Although not even close to an interview, my mouth got me into a quick chat recently at Dodgers spring training with my all time favorite Dodgers player, Mr. Orel Hershiser!
With my childhood idol approaching I rushed through all possible things to say to him. I did not want to ask anything of him, it was early in the day and I knew he had instruction to give and baseball wisdom to impart. I certainly did not want to annoy someone with whom I hold so much respect. Memories of my childhood and 1988 was all I could muster for thoughts as he got within earshot. I said loudly, “’88 was the best year of my life!!” Mr. Hershiser gave me a quick glance and had me sized up instantly, he quipped, “What were you? Like 12?” Which was correct. Half
dazed that he spoke to me, and half shocked that he so quickly and accurately responded, I answered with a slight chuckle, “yeah, I was.” Mr. Hershiser went on, as he continued his path towards the next pitching station and stated, “No wonder, when I was a kid I was a Detroit fan and in 1968, when I was 12, they won the World Series!” Wow, Orel Hershiser not only spoke to me, he related a quick story to me that made me feel his love for the game of baseball as he spoke of his youth and his beloved Tigers of 1968. “Pretty cool,” was my reply as he was about to turn the corner and our chat was about to end, “yep,” he uttered. So cool! Thank you Orel, he did not have to engage in conversation, but he did. I love the Dodgers and it felt awesome to talk with the Bulldog!