Sunday, February 04, 2007

Andre, Cory and Luis

In my previous blog about my first Trot Nixon sighting, I mention being at Fenway Park on September, 1, 1993 for batting practice. I was also still at Fenway Park at 1:30 a.m.! There was a long rain delay that night and the game went into extra innings but the Rangers beat the Red Sox 5-3 in 12 innings. There weren't many people left in the park when the game ended. It also happened to be Nolan Ryan's last visit to Fenway and the fans gave him a huge standing ovation.

Okay, now to Andre Dawson, Cory Bailey and Luis Ortiz.
That summer my sister had access to the family room at Fenway Park because she babysat the trainer's children during the games for a couple of weeks. After the game (at 1:30 a.m.) we were waiting to say goodbye to Charley (the trainer)in the family room. There were only two other families (okay, we weren't family but no one knew that) waiting in the family room. Andre Dawson's wife and two little girls were there. I'm assuming the children had been sleeping during the game but they were wide awake now and cute as could be. Andre walked in and my first impression of him was that he had very long, very skinny legs and he was hobbling when he walked. His knees were so bad by then that when his little girls ran up to him, it was difficult for him to bend down to pick them up. His huge smile absolutely lit up his face when he saw those two munchkins.
The other people in the family room were the mother and father of Cory Bailey. He never became a very good pitcher but on September 1, 1993, he made his pitching debut for the Red Sox and the first batter he had to face in a tie ballgame was Juan Gonzalez. Yikes! Talk about getting thrown to the vultures! Cory got out of the inning without allowing a base runner. I swear he floated into the family room that night. His parents asked what it was like facing Juan Gonzalez and he said, "he looked 10 feet tall from only 60 feet away".
Accompanying Cory Bailey was Luis Ortiz. He's another player who came and went through the Red Sox organization in a couple of years. He'd made his Red Sox debut the night before on August 31, 1993. He came to bat 3 times and got two hits and an RBI. The Sox only scored one run that night. Luis was still floating on air from his major league debut. As everyone was filing out of the family room to the parking lot, I congratulated Luis on his good first game. I'm sure he figured I was someones mother (I am but not the mother of a Red Sox player) and he turned around and grabbed my hand saying "thank you, thank you very much! It was really exciting!"
There isn't a huge point to this blog except to get a little insight into the lives of the baseball players that most of us don't get to see. I'm one of the old fans so I can relate to watching Youk's Mom shouting from the stands watching her son hit a home run for his first major league hit. I know how proud Cory Bailey's parents were that night. I've watched Trot Nixon's son, Chase, stand along the wall that's in front of his spring training seat, with his head in his hands as he watches every pitch of the game intently. I think we may see him playing in the major leagues in 20 years or so. I go to all the spring training games and I like to stay after the 7th inning to watch the young guys getting their chance to play with some of the major league players. I saw Iggy Suarez get his first hit and then he stayed after the game to sign autographs.
I've rambled long enough. I also apologize for the picture placement being wacky but it's the best someone who is almost computer illiterate can do.


Tex said...

at least you got all the pictures on there! I am still struggling with picture placement on my blog which is why I only put one pic. I can't seem to get them where I want them.

now as to your post, I love hearing those kinds of stories! We really just need to know that these guys come from families like ours, they love them and want them to do well in their lives. It was extremely fun to talk to Youk's parents in the stands...for them to know there are Youk fans, you can see the pride in their eyes.

Soxcruiser said...

If I had heard that complete story before I had forgotten it. I agree with Tex that I love hearing these stories. I think it is too easy to forget that baseball players are just like our friends and family with a different type of job. Their parents must be so very proud of them to see them have their dream come true.

Brenken said...

Tex, I even asked Beazer for some help since she does such a fantastic job with the phone call blogs. She said she resizes the pictures (I did that) and that she drags and drops them and other stuff and that's where she lost me.
From now on I need to stick to one photo and then it's not so hard.
Cruiser, it was a long time ago and you may not have heard the whole story before. It was a night of a couple of firsts (Trot and Cory)and one last (Nolan).

Beazer said...

I don't even remember Cory Bailey.

This is a great story, Brenken, thanks for sharing it!

The Triumphant Red Sox Fan said...

I fixed the pictures a bit. Hope you don't mind :).

Tex said...

I can drop and roll...don't know if I can drag and drop :)

The Triumphant Red Sox Fan said...

When I first wake up in the morning, I'm usually dragging. And as I age, I find certain things dropping......

Katiee said...

aww that's an awesome story