A few weeks ago I went to Twins Fest for work. We were selling a book called Twins At The Met, a very cool book about the Twins at the old Metropolitan stadium. A bunch of the current players walked right by me. Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, Joe Mauer, Joe Nathan strolled right by me, and they are all so much taller and so much cuter in person. Wooo-weeee! Tall, talented, rich, gorgeous, a girl's (be it a bit of a shallow girl's) dream come true.
But in the midst of work and dreaming of a date with a baseball player I had a great experience that lead to a great story. And telling stories is what I do.
Our table for work was right next to a table that had the Fergie Jenkins Foundation sitting at it. A bunch of former players (not all Twins) were there signing autographs for $20 a pop. And all the money was going to Haiti. I was working there for 2 of the 3 days and the former baseball players and I became pals.
Signing was Fergie Jenkins, Rollie Fingers, George Foster, Vida Blue, and Mudcat Grant. They were all nice, polite, patient, humble and easy to talk to. All but one. Mr. Vida Blue was quite the character. On the second day he wasted no time hitting on me.
Yep, hitting on me. But in a very 12-year old form. He threw 2 baseballs at me like he was in junior high. Not hard but enough that it did hurt a bit. And after the 2nd ball was tossed I said "OK, seriously? I'm keeping these and you are all signing them for free at the end of the day." Vida and George would occasionally holler my name for no reason. Just to hear me go "What?" see me turn and smile.
And nearing the end of the day, I am asked this question from Mr. Blue, "So Sarah, can I have your number?" Ummmmm what? I was stunned, a bit embarrassed (he's old enough to be my father), and I didn't really know how to say to no. So my "No" sort of fell out of my mouth like a pebble.
And the following was our conversation after my sloppy rejection was spoken.
Vida: "No? Why not?"
And being the me that I am I wasted no time, "See when you won the CY Young Award" (behind him was a banner with the date of all the players awards and such.) "I was born 8 years later."
Much laughter ensued.
Vida: "Oh so it's an age thing?!" he seemed a little offended. But c'mon!
Me: "Well yeah. What are we going to do?"
I think Vida said something, but it must not have been anything worth while, or I would have remembered it.
But I responded with "OK, I'll tell you what. Had you not thrown 2 baseballs at me like a junior higher, I might have said yes. But you're behaving like you're 12, and I don't date 12 year olds."
This caused the rest of the guys to burst into laughter, Vida to blush, and me to feel a little bit bad for the guy. But seriously, this was a strong lesson in men. When they like you, they still behave like a child.
I went back to selling books, Vida went back to signing autographs, with an occasional look and shake of the head in my direction. He did jokingly yell "I'm hurt." And I responded with "Ain't nothing hurt but your pride." Which was true. And then Fergie looked at me and quietly said "He's not a humble man."
We all ended the night with some hugs, laughter, pictures, signatures. I was flattered by Vida's attempt at taking me out. But it felt weird on my end, I mean really? What would we do? I did try to get them all to take me to Manny's for a steak dinner afterward but that plan didn't even get off the ground.
Vida did call my work the next week, twice, looking for me. He got ahold of me on his second try. Just wanted to thank me for being such a good sport, it was nice to meet me, and hopes to see me next year at Twins Fest.
I guess my charms work on some men. Just retired baseball players who are old enough to be my father and live in California. Damnit, why couldn't it have been Joe Mauer?!
Me and Vida Blue.
My foot on home plate. A small dream come true. Now if I can just catch a foul ball.