Sunday, July 22, 2007

Yo, Meathead!




My wife, Laurice, works at Children’s Hospital Oakland, and through her work, she found out Tuesday that Nick Swisher of the Oakland A’s was hosting a bash to benefit the hospital, as well as to benefit his own kids’ charity, Swish’s Wishes. Laurice promptly got tickets for the event. (Thank you so much, my dear!)

Wednesday night, off we went to the Pyramid Brewery in Berkeley. I’d been to this brewhouse before, and needless to say, there was more security than usual. Once the Men In Black had ushered us inside, Laurice went to get a t-shirt and baseball while I waited in line at the bar. Who was pouring drinks but A’s outfielder Travis Buck, pitcher Lenny DiNardo, and new fulltime catcher Kurt Suzuki. The A’s players seemed to be in a jovial mood—with brilliant pitching, DiNardo had just helped to stop a 10-game losing streak with a win that afternoon against Texas. When Laurice returned, we got a place at the bar, where Suzuki signed the ball and shirt and got us an Amber Weizen and an Apricot Weizen. I told him I hoped he had success with the A’s. Clean-cut Travis Buck, newly shorn of his lengthy locks, also gave us a signature.

From there, we strolled the room, making our way through the throng to see who else we could see. We were a little late, so the buffet was not crowded at all when we went to get our food. Let me just say here that the food could have been better at this event, although I suppose if it means that more money went to the charities, I can tolerate mediocre food. The fare was plain—salad with two choices of dressing, rolls, a rice dish, a squash dish, a chicken dish (the chicken was dry), and a beef dish (the beef was too rare and tough as shoe leather). I’d expect that clubhouse catering is probably better than this was, but the players were eating it, too. Pitcher Chad Gaudin—whom I had seen give up 5 runs at the Coliseum on Tuesday during the A’s ninth loss in the 10-game streak—came to the buffet while we were there, and we got a signature from him, too.

Overall, we met nine members of the A’s. We got signatures on the ball from eight of them—Suzuki, Buck, Gaudin, DiNardo, Dan Johnson, Jack Cust, Jay Marshall, and of course, Nick Swisher. We got pictures with most of these guys, too! It was great to talk to them, and they were all really nice—just a bunch of guys having a good time. Laurice was especially taken with Swisher, who is one of her favorite A’s players. He complimented her long hair after she mentioned his own hair, which he had grown and cut earlier this year for Pantene Beautiful Lengths. This organization encourages people to grow and donate hair to make wigs for women with cancer who have lost their hair. It was fantastic to see these guys make a charity appearance and have a good time with the fans. This is what more ballplayers should do—donate time and money to good causes. We are so used to many sports figures being selfish, entitled jerks who have no grounding in the real world. Most of the A’s didn’t come off like that at all. Instead, they genuinely seemed happy to be there.

Only one player was sour when we met him. We saw him at the bottom of the staircase that led up to the VIP and players’ lounge, and we were the only fans near him, but when I said his name, he blew us off with barely a second glance and went to sign autographs for a bunch of groupie-types wearing too much makeup and trashy clothes. I’m sorry to say it was Joe Blanton, who I always thought was a good guy. He was the sole member of the team in attendance that made a poor impression on us. But at least he was there, I guess.

Anyhow, some of our pictures are included with this post, so feel free to comment—a change has been made to this site so that anyone can post a comment at anytime now, no passwords or memberships necessary—and we’d love to hear from you! Thanks to all the guys on the A’s who came out on Wednesday for the event and gave some time for children in need.

Photo #1: Kurt Suzuki pours Meat and Laurice their beers while Travis Buck serves another customer.

Photo #2: Meat meets Dan Johnson.

Photo #3: "Hey Meat, thanks for supporting the team," Jack Cust says.

Photo #4: Laurice with Nick Swisher.

8 comments:

Ed Attanasio, Freelance Writer, Journalist, Baseball Historian, Comedian and Ad Copywriter said...

Great job Meat and Laurice. You guys are so multi-talented. Between the two of you, you can write, edit, take great photos, bake, grow awesome tomato plants, put on awesome fundrasiers and cook an incredible lasagna. What a team!

Star said...

Meat,
Thanks for supporting Children's Oakland! We need more Sportsfans like you to spread the word on good causes such as Swishes Wishes! Not enough people in the community are willing to pay a buck for a cause so good for you and your wife - she seems like an AMAZING WOMAN!

Meathead said...

My wife is definitely an amazing woman!

Tom rettig #1 A's Fan said...

I found your site by accident, but I love it. Great work, Ed & Meat.

Meathead said...

Thanks for your support, Tom!

Bill Romero said...

Nice piece! I wish I had known about the event. I like what I see.

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Anonymous said...

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