After a few more days and the completion of a “Data Quality Issues in Multinational Companies” paper (scintillating, I know), the fourth day has come to a close and things are progressing in a very similar manner to that of the first day. With the exception of moving on to plays at the plate instead of bunts, bullpens increasing to 10 minutes (12 minutes Friday and Saturday), and starting weight workouts yesterday, the routine has been pretty much the same. Aside from some expected aches and pains, I am holding up pretty well.
I have entered my third year of professional baseball, and the scores of people I have met, both in person and online through my blogging endeavors, seem to always be on the rise. I have interacted with many people on road trips who have brought up the blog and some things about my personal life (where I went to school, my hometown, etc.). I am always amazed at the research some people do on incoming teams, just for the satisfaction of getting to talk to us for a little and usually sign a baseball card for them. That is very humbling to say the least.
Playing these past few years has introduced me to many strangers who have become very dedicated supporters. One such person is Lee, an usher at Diablo Stadium (where the Angels play their home spring games). Lee is around our complex before Angels home games and during afternoons for Angels road games, and he observes the daily activities and talks to the players. I have gotten to know him quite a bit over the last year and his support of our efforts continues to be well received.
The reason I began thinking about the people I have met over these years occurred yesterday after practice. Our clubhouse manager, Eric, told me that there was someone that wanted to see me in his office. So I walk in, and there is a man wearing a ridiculously big straw hat that was not quite a sombrero, but was not your typical sun hat either. His eyes lit up when he saw me and I could tell this was just a genuinely happy guy. His bio, in short (as I remember it), is that he used to be vendor outside of Diablo Stadium and somehow knows Eric.
Anyway (here comes the “it’s a small world moment”), he is the cousin of a restaurant owner (Jim Casey) in New York where my family has been going for many years. My family has been going to Casey’s (now in Rensselaer, formerly Jimmie Casey’s in Schodack) for as long as I can remember. How Freddy connected my parents knowing Jim Casey to me, and that I was with the Angels, is beyond me. He might have actually explained it during our conversation, but I was so caught up in how happy he was to meet me that I was not listening intently. After a picture with him, I went on my way, still shocked at these circumstances.
Today, when I came inside from practice, there was a package in my locker from Fast Freddy. It turns out that he makes kettle corn (which happens to be one of my favorite snacks) under the brand, Fred’s Frozen H2O. Encounters like this can really shrink the world and make you amazed at how small it really is.