If you know me or my family you know we are big baseball fans. Big as in Fan with a capital "F." We've been to a handful of games at the new stadium, my sister and I even went to opening day (which was AWESOME!).
On our most recent trip to Target Field my dad's friend Ken came along. It was his first trip to Target Field. I was excited to show him Tony O's Cuban Sandwiches which is named after Cuban Baseball Great Tony Oliva who played his entire career with the Twins. I was pointing out the stand (yum) when my dad said "There he is! The man himself!" Sure enough, there was Tony Oliva! Probably one of the nicest, most humble professional athletes to ever live.
Now, for Twins fans like us this was akin to a left-winger spotting Bill Clinton, or a child spotting Santa in a month other than December.
We. were. star-struck.
Tony was shaking hands and smiling for the camera with fans. He seemed almost bashful about all the fuss being made over him. On the way out of the house that day I had grabbed our small point-and-shoot, so I told my dad and sister to go say hi. They worked their way up and shook hands with Tony Oliva. When they turned around to take a picture, I felt like I was looking at a giddy 12 year old version of my dad!
I pushed the button to take a picture.
The batteries were too low to take a picture. Before I could whip out my cell phone some woman ushered my dad and sister out of the way to get a picture of her kids. The look of disappointment on my dad and sisters face when I told them I didn't get the picture was heart-breaking.
As I write this I'm getting upset agian. Sniff sniff.
The amazing thing about the Twins Organization is that they are able to recruit genuine and loyal guys (Joe Mauer, anyone?) and I am sure there will be more opportunities to see Tony Oliva at Target Field, especially since we are getting season tickets next year!
For now Dad, Susan, this will have to do:
Opening Day at Target Field
April 12, 2010
I can't wait to bring this guy to a Twins game next year!