My friend Henry is a 26 year-old Jewish grad student and a favorite of mothers everywhere. This morning he posted this story on our fantasy baseball bulletin board. Now I’m sharing it with you. Enjoy.
Last night I left work a little early to meet up with a few friends and head north to Nashua NH to take in a Nashua Pride game. The Pride are an independent league professional baseball afilliate comprised of washed up pros and a few youngsters trying to cut it…Oil Can was in the league last year…among others.
Anyway, I went with this crew to cheer on the starting pitcher, a buddy of mine named Jason Kosow. Jason was drafted by the Cubs a few year back. He pitched A ball got hurt and is now rehabbing. He has his fastball up to 92-93. Good shit.
So we all go to this game in NH. Tickets are free for us and it’s Dale Jr.’s race car night so we all receive complimentary #8 Pride Budweiser Hats. Decent. Also, beers are $3.45. Dangerously cheap for a baseball game.
The best part, however, is yet to come. Get this, the closer for the Pride?…. Rich Garces…Yup, El Guapo himself.
On to the game.
Jason pitches well. Throws a lot of pitches, but goes 5 strong with 6 K’s, 1 run earned blah blah blah.
After 6 or so beers my friends and I make it over to the Pride bullpen. Unfortunately by the 8th inning the Pride are down, so no El Guapo. But he is still around the pen, looming large, real large. He’s listed at 6 ft. 250 lbs. But, I’d say 5′ 11” and 280.
I digress…I know I have to say something to my mid-reliever hero of the 90′s…but what do I say?
[Occasional Umpbump poster Zvee] Geffen already stole my line once at St. Patrick’s day when we ran into George Killian, but a “thanks for making our St. Patty’s Day so memorable” really wouldn’t make sense at this pivitol moment…
So, two of my buddies – Dave and Dan – walk over to Guapo with our Dale Jr. Hats and a black pen. El Guapo is chillin over in right field, practically on the foul line, stretching. Kinda funny.
We call him over and start chatting him up. My conversation went something like this:
Henry: Hey man, so when are we going to see you around Fenway again?
Guapo: You know man, I’m just going to take one day at time man, one day at a time…
Henry: (after a brief pause) Can we email you?
Guapo stops signing my buddy Dave’s hat as the word “email” rolls off my tounge. He kinda looks at me funny as I realized my mistake. What I meant to say was “can we email the Sox org. to get you back on the field?”
Shit…I f-ed up, classic Henry style.
I tried to chat my way out of it with El Guapo, even threw an F-bomb in the mix…but I think the damage was done. He thought I was a real f-ing weirdo.
Walking back to my spot along the bull pen, autographed cap in hand, my friends start to rail at me… Tears are streaming down my buddy Dave’s face as he tried to imitate the way I asked for Guapo’s email?
I laughed along, still embarrassed.
But the fun was only beginning.
As my drunk ass-hole friends yucked it up, a few kids were running around us playing with ‘Stiches’ the Pride mascot. Two of them overheard my friends jeering me and mistook us for a bunch of drunk shitheads making fun of El Guapo.
Well, it turns out these two little girls were Guapo’s daughters. They proceded to run over to their mother/friends to complain about us.
A friend of the Garces family approached and informed us that Mrs. Garces was right over there and could hear everything…
Feeling like an absolute jerk over the confusion, I gathered myself, slammed my beer and walked over to Mrs. Garces.
For the next 45 minutes, using my B/B- Spanish I talked my/our way out of the awkward situation. Truthfully, I remember very little of our conversation, but I know I hit it off really well and made peace. I met Guapo’s entire family, including one of his “older” nieces whom they wanted me to meet.
Long story short, all is well in the Garces family. He is an awesome dude and his wife is an absolute delight. They asked if I was from a Spanish speaking country. When I told them “no, sorry.” One of Guapo’s daughters asked if I was Indian?
In conclusion. Nashua was an awesome time. The beer – cheep. The baseball – decent, and the closer for the Pride, a legend. It’s worth a trip, or the very least a spot on UmpBump.
Your favorite Indian,
P.S. I checked my other fantasy baseball league this morning and three of the team names are now: