Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I already wrote about my great weekend seeing the NY Yankees invade Houston and sweep the Astros.
Now I want to talk about what may have been one of the most exciting nights of my life. No, not the time at Scores in NYC.
So Friday night after the game I was hanging out at a friend's bar, Reserve 101, in downtown Houston. My buddy had told me the Yankees were staying across the street at the Four Seasons. So of course I made sure to bring a baseball and pen with me that night, just in case. I was also decked out in full Yankee gear; my Yankees hat and Rivera Jersey.
The bartender had tipped me off that Jeter, Posada and A-Rod were having dinner down the street at "The Strip House." Hilarious, huh. But no. "The Strip House" happens to be a steak house.
So I did what any other Yankee fan would do. I sprinted down the block to the joint expecting to see hundreds of fans waiting outside the door. I ended up seeing a dark restaurant and one guy standing outside. The guy informed me Jeter and Posada had just left and didn't sign anything, but A-Rod was still there.
Another guy and his hot, hispanic girlfriend showed up, with the same goal as me.
We decided when A-Rod came out, we'd use the guy's girl as bait.
We waited outside the place for about 30-45 minutes. Finally, a side door opened and out stepped A-Rod with the restaurant manager. A-Rod continued down the block to the Four Seasons.
We immediately ran up to A-Rod and I was the first to give him my ball. He had no problem signing it. I continued to walk next to A-Rod completely kissing his ass. I'm not even sure exactly what I said to him.
Let me tell you this, A-Rod is freaking huge! I'm over 6 feet and he towered over me.
I know at one point he looked at me and grabbed my shoulder to turn me around and said, "Oh! A Rivera jersey huh?" And we both smiled at each other.
Outside the hotel there was probably 50 autograph hawkers who waited outside all night. A-Rod signed about 5 balls.
I can understand why athletes don't sign for "hawkers", because all these guys are doing is looking to make a buck off Ebay.
I probably wouldn't have got his autograph had I not been dressed in Yankee gear.
I will never sell this ball.
I will be buried with this ball.
I can basically care less about celebrities other than certain professional athletes.
I worked in the restaurant industry for 5 years in NYC, so I received my share of celebrity experiences. But, dam! If there's one guy, one stud, that I'd love to meet and get an autograph, it doesn't get any better than A-Rod. Maybe Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Michael Jordan and definitely Carrie Underwood.
Out of curiosity, I did check out Ebay to see just how much the ball could be worth.