BRADENTON, FLA. Pirates Spring Trainng 09
Ok, so we are standing in the right field bleachers talking to the fans. Eavesdropping on the player workouts while the game lingers onward. Ian Snell and Jeff Karstens are watching the game intently, signing autographs between innings for the rather light crowd.
Then the talking stopped as an indescribable woman enters our man space. Some snicker, some stare, and for some reason I snap a picture with the camera. The pictures might explain that. But her words were worth a thousand bucks on this bright sunny day in the city I love, Bradenton, Florida.
She slowly walked down in front of a child happily playing catch against the stairs as his Mom enjoyed the sun. She walked very slowly down the stadium steps twirling her dirty hair which was covered by a camoflauge hat with each flip-flopped step she took. At least ten people were shaking their heads by now. Did I mention she was moving very slowly?
She leaned over the railing, (I swear it took her ten seconds) and said something I will remember forever….,
“Heh…you…. yeh you,” as she pointed her index finger, “you’re Ian Snell right? I want you to know that I played church softball with your wife!”
Ian Snell is a nice guy. After a pause that seemed like thirty seconds, He responded with something like, “that’s cool, thanks.”
We were howling immediately.
She then asked, “is she here?”
After a loud ”NO” she walked head down defeated back up the steps taking just as long to exit as it did for her to make her grand entrance.
Ian popped his head up out of his hands a minute later, his eyes fixing on us leaning on the railing at the side of the steps that were used for the grand entry and exit just minutes before. Snell had a look of disbelief…he just had to get confirmation, “heh, guys did you just hear that conversation?”
I told him we all witnessed it and I just had to ask, “Ian is the team any good?” He quickly replied, “they are, but I never saw her on the field!” Ahh the life of Ian Snell. Good Luck in the World Baseball Classic.
FYI>>>Snell pitched three scoreless innings — one hit, three strikeouts — for Puerto Rico in an exhibition against the Twins.