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!