Thursday, June 12, 2014

Another Birthday!

Happy 43rd Birthday to former major leaguer Ryan Klesko!

Now anyone who knows me well, knows that Ryan Klesko is my ultimate man-crush.  Above Matthew McConnaughey, above John Cusack, above Kevin James, above Fred Durst. As a matter of fact, those are my top five "leave my life and run away with" guys.

I first became a fan of his when he was a  member of the Atlanta Braves fron 1992 to 1999. My grandfathter got me watching baseball and the Turner network played every single game. When he relocated to the West coast to play for San Diego and later San Francisco, I could not follow as easily because their games were not always televised here.

A permaplaque photo from the 1995 World Series hung in my home, along side my family photos, until we moved to our new home in 2000.

He announced his retirement in 2008 and dropped off the radar.

Imagine my surprise when I returned to work  from a one day vacation in 2012 and learned that he had been a guest at my office!  I cried for nearly an hour!!

Later, I learned that he would be back! And because I was such a fan, they would give me the opportunity to meet him and if he was willing, get a picture with him.

I could hardly contain myself when the day came. He was super nice! My coworkers had told him what a huge fan I was and quizzed me right in front of him about his facts and stats.  I told him about going to a sports memorbilia show to get his autograph. He had been late coming in from Atlanta and had gotten pulled over. He was nearly 45 minutes late.  I was probably 20 people from getting my autograph when they pulled him from his seat to rush him off back to another scheduled appearance. He had apologized profusely. He said that he never liked being "over scheduled" and loved meeting the fans.

When I asked for a picture with him, he was more than happy to comply.  He whipped off his ball cap and pulled me in close. You can not see from the photo how I blushed, but I was suddenly hot and sweaty from head to toe.

After it was taken, he said "Lemme see" and I pulled it up on my phone for him. He said "Awww maaan! My hair is jacked!"  He offered to take another, but I thought I may have a heart attack before I could get out of there. I told him this one was fine.
Later, my coworker, Dave, came to my office. He held out his hand. In it was a baseball.  He said as he had walked Ryan back to his truck, Ryan had fished this baseball out of the floorboard. It's was obviously used, probably a discarded ball that he used to play with the dogs.
"Hey, take this to Joy" he had said, as he scrawled this message and his signature on it. "Tell her I'm sorry it's so scuffed up, but it's all I've got on me."
I wouldn't trade this chewed up ball for all the gold in the world.

Happy Birthday Ryan! I hope it's a good one!

No comments: