It’s been a fun two days, I got to hang out with my MLB beat reporter bro, have full access to roam behind the scenes and on the field at a major league ball park, hang with Frank Thomas in person, but BAH… the highlight, was spending a day with Flat Stanley! What?!? You’ve never heard of Flat Stanley? Well, I’ll get back to him…
These are my feet on the grass at Comerica Park, home of the almost-world-series-champs Detroit Tigers, the day after their opening day against the Blue Jays, who my little brother covers for MLB.com. (look for his name right on bluejays.com) I drove to Detroit to hang with my bro for a few days and watch him “in action.”
My one day media pass gave me access to the whole park. I entered the stadium via the “tunnel” on the visitor side after passing through the clubhouse. Sorry, but no pictures were allowed in the clubhouse. This was a day off, between opening day and a game today, so the park was empty but there were players there to practice, work out, etc. Among several Blue Jay players I didn’t recognize I saw Jim Leyland (tigers manager) getting into an elevator, Justin Verlander (rookie of year last year for the American league) walk by and get into his SUV, Gregg Zaun (blue jays cather) walking around, and got to visit a little with John Gibbons, the Blue Jays manager. Then guess who walked by?
The Big Hurt
Yup, Frank Thomas! It was very cool to be in the clubhouse and have my little brother say, “Hey, Frank, can I introduce you to my brother?” The Hurt says, “Sure, Jordan.” and turns and talks with me. I’ll never wash the hand he shook… or wait, I already did at dinner last night! ahhhhhhh. Oh well. I said “hanging out” above as a lead in teaser… that’s probably stretchin’ the encounter which was less than a minute, but hey, I met Frank Thomas, and the highlight for me wasn’t meeting him, so much, as being introduced to him by my little brother who I at one time taught about baseball! This little kid I used to play catch with now works the MLB.com and introduces me to 18 million dollar players and professional coaches. Makes a big brother proud! The picture above Jordan took and is part of his MLB.com blog Spring Training photo gallery. He is really a good photographer! If the reporting gets old in time, he could switch to being a sports photographer. I’m serious, check out his pics. (for additional online fun, check out this very funny new tv commercial about Frank Thomas on the Blue Jays: download. mp4)
But like I said, Frank wasn’t the highlight… it was Flat Stanley.
Many Aunts and Uncles have probably heard of Flat Stanley. I’ve had many adventures with Flat Stanley from all the various kids and nephews and neices who have mailed him to me. Perhaps you’v been so lucky? Kids mail out his story and him and ask you to take him somewhere, take pictures, and mail back for them to share in class. My latest relative to send me Flat was my nephew Michael in California, so I took Mr. Stanley on this trip with me. (No, I did not ask Frank to pose with Flat Stanley, though the thought did cross my mind, but no pics in the clubhouse anyway.)
It was a great bro hang out time. Truly, the highlight for me wasn’t Flat Stanley, or even Frank Thomas, it was getting time with my little brother who I am so proud of. We don’t get much hang time these days, but if family is first, sometimes you just have to go to where they are to invest in the relationship, even if you must hang out with them at work. It was a great trip, but I have to get home! Today is Sara’s birthday!
You can send her a birthday greeting at sara @ kidology.org (no spaces, those are to prevent email snagging online spam bots!)