Good friends and neighbors had an extra ticket available for last evening’s game between the Washington Nationals & The Florida Marlins. I was invited, and gladly accepted. The seats were right behind home plate – couldn’t ask for a better vantage point to watch a game.
I noticed that seated just a behind us was a familiar face. It was 1986 World Series MVP Ray Knight. He was the 3rd baseman for the New York Mets that year. Met fans have the image of Knight crossing the plate after the infamous Mookie Wilson to Bill Buckner ground ball forever in their mind’s eye. OK – it wasn’t a crazy coincidence that he was at the game… he does the post-game wrapup show for the cable broadcasts of the Nats games. Still, there was a sports hero of mine just a few yards away.
I was (naturally) wearing my blue & orange Mets jacket. Between innings, I stood up, gestured to him (as my friend yelled “RAY!”) and he looked my way. When he spotted my wave, I tapped on the big Mets logo on my chest, and gave him a big thumbs up. He smiled, nudged his fellow broadcaster Johnny Holliday to get him to look over as well. He returned the thumbs up, put down his scorecard & clapped, winked and nodded approvingly.
In today’s age of athletes and their multi-million dollar salaries & egos, it was terrific to be able to extend a greeting to a baseball superstar and have it humbly returned with genuine appreciation. Class.
Very special thanks to Jeff, Kristi, Jeremy & Alena. What a great evening!
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Tags: hero, Mets, Ray Knight
Categories : Life in General
I played an out-of-town gig this past weekend in Williamsburg, Virginia. The other oboist that was hired to play was from the Norfolk area – Kevin Piccini. Kevin is a great oboist, and a very nice guy. I didn’t have to hear more than a few notes of his warmup to know that we are from the same ‘school’ of oboe playing & philosophy. He has a big, rich sound, and controls it masterfully. We discovered that we are both ‘grandchildren’ of the New York Philharmonic’s legendary oboe section under
Bernstein. I was a pupil of Engelbert Brenner, and he of Ronald Roseman. Kevin speaks of his teacher with the same reverence I use to describe my mentor. When not playing together, we were trading stories & comparing notes. A 3 hour rehearsal flew by at rocket speed. The performance was great, and the ‘oboe-ing’ was good & really fun!
Now the kicker – Kevin turns to me right before the lone rehearsal starts and says, “You’re Oboerista, aren’t you.” I’m humbled and honored that a great oboist discovered and reads this blog.
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Tags: new york philharmonic
Categories : Musical Musings, oboe