Yesterday’s Shea experience occurred in two parts. First, I attended only my 2nd batting practice ever, which was a heap of fun. Keep reading to learn that 1) Kevin Burkhardt is the nicest guy ever and I heart him, 2) Pedro Feliciano wins the "I’ll get to everyone" autographing award, and 3) I finally met Zack!
Zack Hample, the official Baseball Snagger, was one of my first "blog buddies." Still, we’d never met in person until yesterday, when we shared a big hug and (of course) an impromptu photo-op. Zack’s tall! And a total sweetheart. OH! During bp I saw him in the picnic area (from across the field!) make a ridiculous catch that took him over the railing and drew cheers all around him. Great job, buddy!
The next highlight of bp was meeting Kevin Burkhardt. A super-nice security guard informed him that I’d love if he could sign my SNY trading card. So despite the fact that he was due in only moments to interview Paul Lo Duca, Kevin walked down the first base line to where I was, jumped over the barrier into the stands, signed my card and happily posed for a photograph.
Burkhardt could not have been a cooler guy, and he even appeared interested "Oh! You’re a blogger!" in this dog and pony show here 🙂 We chatted about a few things–and I mentioned I loved the SNY shot of his family on Keith Hernandez Mustache Day. I told Kevin: "Please don’t pull a Chris Cotter and go to the studio! We like you here with us." He said, "Don’t worry–I’m here next year."
So in honor of Burkie Whom I Love, here’s our swell pic together, followed by one of my favorite Burkie moments of all time, care of his ridiculously cute little boy.
Next at bp, David Wright, Paul Lo Duca, and Shawn Green were warming up nearly right in front of me, but none seemed at all willing to sign autographs, even for the kids. They’ve got to be going through **** right now, but I would have enjoyed the opportunity to support them up close and personal.
Pedro Feliciano, however? He spent a good fifteen minutes doing nothing but signing autographs. First at the dugout, and then along the foul line, where I was. He patiently got to everyone, and for that he gets major points. The image of Pedro Dos holding my signature pink Mets cap? Joyous! I had even taught myself to say "Puedo tener su autografo"–"Can I have your autograph?" before heading out of the house that day, but I was a bit too shy to try what must be just awful Spanish. I’m guessing Pedro secretly thanks me for resisting. I could use some Profesor Reyes! (Then again, Profesor can’t teach everyone, as we’ve seen with–you got it–Burkie Whom I Love.)
I’ll leave you for now with more bp highlight pics, and stay tuned for Part II: The Game, which had some truly special moments, despite the loss.
I am completely hoarse. I scremed for this team so hard I got a pressure headache. More on that soon, along with the photo album.