As anticipated, the month of March has flown by. Our Spring Training schedule is well-worn from its daily trips in and out of my wallet, and only a handful of games remain.
As an über-fan I wore my vintage 2004 Keith Bucktrot St. Patty’s Day jersey to the game on March 17, the jersey I snagged from the game-worn bin for $50 when no one knew who Bucktrot was.
Of course when I wear the jersey each year in Clearwater no one still knows who Bucktrot is, as opposed to two budding stars who shared his Fleer Prospects’ card the year I acquired his number 61.
Ryan Howard of course went on to have a storied career with the Phillies while Gavin Floyd was dealt to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Freddy Garcia. That trade is considered by some to be among the worst in Phillies history not only because Garcia was damaged goods, but because the second pitcher included in the trade to the Sox was Gio Gonzalez. This just goes to show how hard it is in baseball to predict the future, and the architect of that trade is someone who was subsequently inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as an executive in 2011.
Serendipitously our nine year-old grandson visiting with us over the weekend made fast friends at the pool with a kid from Michigan who was wearing a Phillies T-Shirt. Miriam naturally asked what the connection was between Michigan and the Phillies, and he mentioned that his grandfather “works for the Phillies”. The next day my son was out there chatting with grandpa who introduced himself as Pat Gillick. “I know who you are”, Elliot said. “But I didn’t want to chat you up about the Phillies”. I came by the pool to let them know we had to leave for the game soon, and Pat introduced himself. He was very low key and quite pleasant, as we shared conversation about the area and our mutual agent — not a baseball agent, but the agent from whom we rent the condo residence for the month. We finished the chat with a gentleman’s agreement not to predict the future …