This past Friday, I had the pleasure of playing in the Boston Red Sox, Children’s Hospital Celebrity Golf classic, at the Forest Country Club in Ft. Myers. The game of baseball has received some criticism over the past weeks, much of it having to do with the Mitchell report.
Like much of America, I’ve been a baseball fan since I was very young, and have always admired professional baseball players,....and it’s honestly a great treat to play alongside some of these guys,.....albeit golf and not baseball.
Our foursome included Javier Lopez, the left-handed pitcher. (P.S., I actually outdrove him on the first 6 holes,......until he got the hang of his rental clubs, then he dusted me) Throughout the 18 holes, Javier was asked to sign numerous autographs, almost to the point of distraction. I mean, we had a golf tournament to win! Every request was met with a smile and handshake. As a matter of fact every player I encountered was equally generous.
There was even a spot on the course where we took the turn, and there was a large group of people who were not involved in the tournament who had baseballs and team photos galore. I couldn’t help wonder if some of these people were power sellers on EBay, and even mused about what the opening bids would be. Didn’t matter, autographs and handshakes for all.
After the round, we were joined at our table by Tim Wakefield, the knuckleballer. He was approached several times during his meal for an autograph, which some might consider poor etiquette. Again, Tim interrupted his meal and signed for all.
Some might conclude I’m suffering from a bit of hero worship, and I will admit it was a lot of fun playing golf with members of a World Champion team, but I’m just reporting what I saw over 5 plus hours on the golf course.
An interesting side note, Javier Lopez also plays the tuba, like me,….or did anyway. He played in high school and actually formed a band with his friends. So when you go to Spring Training and see him,….shout “where’s the tuba?” And make sure to e-mail me his response.
See you in the morning for Interactive Weather.