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Thread: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

  1. #1

    Default Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    Just curious if any of you have any interesting personal stories with your own interaction with a big-time sports personality. I have a couple as I was thinking about them on a long drive home tonight. Long drive with a few memorable chuckles. Always a good thing.

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    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    Talked with a number of them at coaching clinics.

    Bob Knight- 1982- he was signing books in the Twin Cities after a one man clinic. He just took what you gave him, signed an item and handed it back without comment. I was in line and just stuck out my hand and thanked him for being there because I learned a lot. He looked surprised- shook my hand and asked if I would like him to sign my notebook. Still have it today.

    Lute Olson- 1989- he had spoken at a Nike clinic- I asked him a specific question afterwards and he drew up the situation for me. While he was doing it he looked up and smiled at me. I don't know if you ever saw Tony Curtis in The Great Race but every time he would smile you would see a twinkle in his eye. I swear it was the same for Lute. No wonder he could recruit so well.

    Hubie Brown was one of the best speakers that I met. He was asked a question about the previous speaker- Paul Whitehead- and his Loyola Marymont fast break. Brown had been writing furiously during Paul's talk. He gave four ways to slow it down just off of what he had heard. He also said to not let your ego get in the way of copying what someone else does against you. He told me, "Don't make the mistake of thinking that your way is the only way. Sometimes the other guy has a better plan. Don't be afraid to use it."

    There were a number of others that I met in person. Some I was very impressed with- others it made me wonder how they were as successful as they were because they didn't move the dial much.

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    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    I've told these stories on here before.

    1975. I was 23 running a business in Hereford Texas. With my uncle visiting his mother in Mt. Dora, Florida in January. We played golf every day. One morning we went to a golf course about 20 miles from Mr. Dora (near Orlando). It was a development that had permanent trailers set up on lots around the course. My Uncle Mark and I had a 7 am tee time, the first of the day. We were on the putting green when another cart came charging up. I grew up in Eastern Oklahoma. Baseball was my game. Mickey Mantle was my boyhood hero. I was a diehard Yankee in a sea of Cardinal fans. As a kid, we used to go to KC each summer when the Yanks played the A's. My grandparents lived in Gardener, Kansas. I instantly recognized the newcomer. I went to my uncle and said "Hey, that's Mickey Mantle!" Just then the starter called us to the first tee. Mantle followed us and asked if he could play along. Naturally, we said yes and we introduced ourselves. My Uncle lived in Tulsa and Mantle knew where I had grown up, a couple hours from from his home, Pitcher, Oklahoma.

    Well, we played 18. The Mick was a monster off of the tee. The rest of his game was only fair. I played well. Shot a 76. MM had a 79. Mu uncle shot an 84. It was a great day. After our round he bought us sandwiches and a few beers in the clubhouse. He was an investor in the development. He was very down-to-earth. We all hit it off and it was a comfortable round. I'll never forget the first hole. I was nervous as hell. It was a short par 4, about 320 yards. I hit it into the right rough about 275 yards. Hit a nice wedge about 20 feet and two putted for a par. Mantle his this huge hook about 10 yards short and to the left of the green. He pitched on and three putted from about 35 feet. Winning the first hole settled me down. It was a great day. A beautiful day. Sheer happenstance.

    Incident 2. It was spring 2002. My daughter's AAU team was playing in a tournament in Lubbock. We were waiting for a table at Orlando's. The place was crowded. In walked Bobby Knight. He was with two friends and was waiting for a table as well. I told my daughter, dressed in her West Texas Heat uniform, to go say hello. She did. And Knight proceeded to talk with her for 10 minutes. 10 minutes. Unbelievable! He focused on her and made her feel like the most important person in the world. We all got seated. During the meal Knight came by and told us what a nice daughter we had, and wished her luck today. You can say what you want about Knight, but he will forever be top shelf to me.
    Last edited by BuffaloChip; 05-21-2019 at 09:14 AM.

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    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by BuffaloChip View Post
    I've told these stories on here before.

    1975. I was 23 running a business in Hereford Texas. With my uncle visiting his mother in Mt. Dora, Florida in January. We played golf every day. One morning we went to a golf course about 20 miles from Mr. Dora (near Orlando). It was a development that had permanent trailers set up on lots around the course. My Uncle Mark and I had a 7 am tee time, the first of the day. We were on the putting green when another cart came charging up. I grew up in Eastern Oklahoma. Baseball was my game. Mickey Mantle was my boyhood hero. I was a diehard Yankee in a sea of Cardinal fans. As a kid, we used to go to KC each summer when the Yanks played the A's. My grandparents lived in Gardener, Kansas. I instantly recognized the newcomer. I went to my uncle and said "Hey, that's Mickey Mantle!" Just then the starter called us to the first tee. Mantle followed us and asked if he could play along. Naturally, we said yes and we introduced ourselves. My Uncle lived in Tulsa and Mantle knew where I had grown up, a couple hours from from his home, Pitcher, Oklahoma.

    Well, we played 18. The Mick was a monster off of the tee. The rest of his game was only fair. I played well. Shot a 76. MM had a 79. Mu uncle shot an 84. It was a great day. After our round he bought us sandwiches and a few beers in the clubhouse. He was an investor in the development. He was very down-to-earth. We all hit it off and it was a comfortable round. I'll never forget the first hole. I was nervous as hell. It was a short par 4, about 320 yards. I hit it into the right rough about 275 yards. Hit a nice wedge about 20 feet and two putted for a par. Mantle his this huge hook about 10 yards short and to the left of the green. He pitched on and three putted from about 35 feet. Winning the first hole settled me down. It was a great day. A beautiful day. Sheer happenstance.

    Incident 2. It was spring 2002. My daughter's AAU team was playing in a tournament in Lubbock. We were waiting for a table at Orlando's. The place was crowded. In walked Bobby Knight. He was with two friends and was waiting for a table as well. I told my daughter, dressed in her West Texas Heat uniform, to go say hello. She did. And Knight proceeded to talk with her for 10 minutes. 10 minutes. Unbelievable! He focused on her and made her feel like the most important person in the world. We all got seated. During the meal Knight came by and told us what a nice daughter we had, and wished her luck today. You can say what you want about Knight, but he will forever be top shelf to me.
    Every bit of this post is amazing. Few people can say they played a round of golf with Mickey Mantle. Awesome.

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    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by kccatfan View Post
    Every bit of this post is amazing. Few people can say they played a round of golf with Mickey Mantle. Awesome.
    Like I said, sheer happenstance. Right time, right place. One-in-a-million.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    It's not the biggest name in the sports world, but it's my favorite story involving a sports personality.

    I'm a die-hard, lifelong Royals fan. We were flying back to KC from our honeymoon, the night before the 2014 Wild Card game (two which we had tickets), and we had a stop in Phoenix.
    We're getting ready to board the flight to KC and I noticed Mike Sweeney sitting nearby. He was one of the few bright spots of some of the awful Royals teams of my youth. I even named a dog after him when I was young.
    I knew he had to be going back for the game. Sure enough, he gets on the plane early and is seated as we walk past.
    I wait until he looks up and I say "Go Royals." He gets a big smile, slaps me on my leg as I walk past and says "GO ROYALS!"

    I knew it had to be a good sign for the next night.

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    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    When I was drafted in 1989 by the KC Royals, I got to spend a lot of time with Brett Saberhagen, George Brett, Mark Gubicza etc, as they were always hanging around the minor league players and fields and even in the locker rooms. Even got to pitch in the AAA game against the Cincy Reds against Barry Larkin, who proceded to put a large dent in the 375 sign in left center off me. Then I decided that Chris Sabo needed some chin music and I beaned him. Oh well, it was just a slow moving curve ball that wouldn't have put a dent in a stick of butter. That was basically my descent back down to Single A...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenwoodBearcat View Post
    When I was drafted in 1989 by the KC Royals, I got to spend a lot of time with Brett Saberhagen, George Brett, Mark Gubicza etc, as they were always hanging around the minor league players and fields and even in the locker rooms. Even got to pitch in the AAA game against the Cincy Reds against Barry Larkin, who proceded to put a large dent in the 375 sign in left center off me. Then I decided that Chris Sabo needed some chin music and I beaned him. Oh well, it was just a slow moving curve ball that wouldn't have put a dent in a stick of butter. That was basically my descent back down to Single A...
    Still an awesome story.

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    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    Not me, but my mom nearly ran Bobby Allison over in a crosswalk when she was younger. Close enough to killing a NASCAR legend that he pounded on her hood and yelled at her and kept walking. She was turning right and her light was red, so she stopped and then started turning but Bobby Allison had started crossing the street since he had a walk signal and she didn't see him.

  10. Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by ZubCat81 View Post
    Just curious if any of you have any interesting personal stories with your own interaction with a big-time sports personality. I have a couple as I was thinking about them on a long drive home tonight. Long drive with a few memorable chuckles. Always a good thing.
    I gave Dennis Eckersly and Mike Torres a ride summer of 80 when I worked for a rent a car place at the airport. Pales in comparison though to when you kicked Iowa Hawkeyes basketball star Bobby Hansen ass in pop a shot or the time your girlfriend sweet talked Bobby Knight into letting you watch a closed Indiana practice:)

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    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    I posted about my Mickey Mantle golf round earlier. I forgot to post about my encounter with Dandy Don Meredith.

    My wife and I were staying at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, NM. (We've spent at least a year and a half in Santa Fe since we married 40 years ago. She's from NM. My wife inherited a house there, which has been a leased property for years). It was late April, 2002 or 2003 (I'm not sure now of the year). A Thursday morning. My wife went shopping on the Plaza. I went to the French Bakery Shop & Restaurant downstairs on the street in the La Fonda. I ordered a coffee and sat down alone. In a corner table right next to me I instantly recognized Don Meredith. I said hello. I asked him if he'd been to Mount Vernon (Texas) lately. He laughed and said no, it had been awhile. I said I was from Hereford, Texas and was a lifelong Cowboy fan. Told him I'd watched my first Cowboy game as an 8 year old in Poteau, Okla, 1960 on CBS. Eddie LaBaron was the QB. He said he'd been through Hereford on US 60 many times. He moved to my table. We chatted for about 30 minutes discussing Texas HS football and the Cowboys. It turned out we had a friend in common. One of my two best boyhood friends, Boyd Robertson from Poteau, Okla, had stage managed MNFB while Meredith was doing it with Cosell and Gifford. He said Boyd was the best stage manager he'd ever had. After sharing our second cup of coffee, he excused himself and left for an appointment.

    If you watched him on Monday Night Football you got the same guy in person. Down to earth, affable, friendly, a Texan's Texan thru and thru.

    My friend, Boyd, also stage managed Chick Hearn and the Lakers, before becoming Vin Scully's stage manager in 1989 till Scully retired from the booth a couple years ago. Nearly 30 years doing Dodger baseball. Now Boyd's a guy that met everyone. He could write a book about sports figures he met, knew, played golf with, dined with, were friends with , etc.!!!. Boyd and I played ball together all thru our growing up years. You can google "Boyd Robertson baseball" for a couple interesting stories on his career. We have dinner together whenever I get to LA.
    Last edited by BuffaloChip; 06-03-2019 at 08:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenwoodBearcat View Post
    When I was drafted in 1989 by the KC Royals, I got to spend a lot of time with Brett Saberhagen, George Brett, Mark Gubicza etc, as they were always hanging around the minor league players and fields and even in the locker rooms. Even got to pitch in the AAA game against the Cincy Reds against Barry Larkin, who proceded to put a large dent in the 375 sign in left center off me. Then I decided that Chris Sabo needed some chin music and I beaned him. Oh well, it was just a slow moving curve ball that wouldn't have put a dent in a stick of butter. That was basically my descent back down to Single A...
    Lucky, lucky you! Except for the "descent."
    Last edited by BuffaloChip; 06-03-2019 at 04:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    i handled a claim for gary st jean once.

    he was general mgr of the warriors...... i wouldn’t have known who he was except while i was on hold there was music for the team playing in the background. he was a really nice man and lol’d when i said i’d probl seen him on sportscenter but didn’t really watch the pros.

    we small talked about cfb and cbb.....he went to a small college back east i’d never heard of, he’d never heard of nwms so we agreed we were even. he’s an old yankee and was happy about the pats.....they’d just gotten good....it was like 15+ yrs ago. he told me gilbert araneus) would be a star before anyone knew who he was in terms of the pros. i said i remembered him at az and i thought he was a good player. i did really remember him in college bc i watched a lot of college hoops then but also actually had no idea about his pro prospects and was just being polite. needless to say dude was right.

    i followed his career after that which never amounted to anything unfortunately in terms of organizational success. he’s an analyst for their tv network now

    lol that’s it for me. dave purnell told me some funny stories about packers players when he camped with them that idr now.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    I pissed next to Nick Collison (He actually pissed next to me) once when I was around 12 yrs old also saw 2003 AL Rookie of the Year Angel Berroa buying furniture at Nebraska Furniture Mart

  15. #15

    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    Talked to Tom Landry.
    Dealt cards to any number of celebrities, including Paul Rudd.
    Ate pizza with Laker at Jake's.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by MEAN GREEN MACHINE View Post
    I gave Dennis Eckersly and Mike Torres a ride summer of 80 when I worked for a rent a car place at the airport. Pales in comparison though to when you kicked Iowa Hawkeyes basketball star Bobby Hansen ass in pop a shot or the time your girlfriend sweet talked Bobby Knight into letting you watch a closed Indiana practice:)
    Actually, not only did Bobby Hanson play for my Iowa Hawkeyes, but he had been playing with the Utah Jazz with Dave Stockton and Karl Malone and then ended his career in 1992 when he got his NBA championship ring playing backup to Michael Jordan. I think it was the summer of 1990 when he made his appearance at the Jukebox in downtown Des Moines as I seem to remember I was 37 at the time. The Jukebox had a huge patio garden outside surrounded by an iron wrought fence so alot of sidewalk bystanders had a good view of the goings on any given night. The promotion with Bobby Hanson making his appearance and offering to give a $100 bill to anyone that could beat his score drew a pretty good crowd. Alot of sidewalk people cheering. There were over 150 people signed up, and even several players from Drake, Iowa State and even one Iowa player. Everyone got three attempts and I actually had the top two scores. Three funny things happened that night. On my last attempt there was one particular guy with his face pressed up against the fence on the sidewalk side and after my last score he went on to tell me he was a huge fan of mine which my two buddies just laughed and I told the guy I wasn't who he thought I was. As I walked away another guy walked up to me and asked if I could stop over at this table so he could introduce me to his girlfriend and his friends. Of course, my buddies are now in a roar and I look over at his table of eager friends and when I tell him I'm not Bobby Hanson, and I know I'm coming off a bit rude with my laughing, cuz he was actually offended in an embarrassing way, and said, "oh, c'mon, just for a minute". Right about that time, Bobby Hanson was coming back out onto the patio with his wife, and I motion the guy to look behind him. I said, "there's your guy". The kicker of this whole thing was shortly afterwards with the contest ending at midnight, Bobby Hanson and wife were introduced to me and his wife tells me, "you two kinda look alike". Bobby and I had a good chuckle as he's shaking my hands. Believe me, I'm looking up at him a bit. He was standing 6'6 and I'm 6'3. Then he pulls out a crisp $100 bill from his wallet and forks it over. Stupid me that I left my brains at home and didn't think of having him autograph it. Reminded myself of that broken windshield wiper I had on my 1973 Plymouth Satellite in college sounding like it was saying, dumb guy, dumb guy, dumb guy . . .
    Last edited by ZubCat81; 06-04-2019 at 02:52 AM.

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    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    Iowa Western in Council Bluffs had a baseball class that was basically 8 days on a bus traveling between different baseball communities. 8 games 8 days. Kansas City to St Louis to Chicago to Field of Dreams With several minor league clubs mixed in between the major league teams. And they vary the trip every year with the only common being a day game in Wrigley. After taking it as a class for hours to renew teaching certificate My wife and I took the trip as a vacation for several years. There were others that did the same thing. And one year a couple brought their grandson along with them. We were in Clinton Iowa watching the Lumberjacks play. Real old time lumber grandstands. This kid was running around looking for autographs when the guy sitting next to me said "That kid needs to get this guys autograph!" pointing to the gentleman at his other side. It was Jim Sundberg who was the catcher on the KC Royals when they won their first World Series. He was the director of catchers for the Texas Rangers at the time. And was in Clinton checking on one of their catchers. We explained what we were doing in Clinton so he spent an hour after the game talking and answering questions. Passed his World Series Ring around letting us all try it on. Who would have guessed that we would come across a WS ring at a class A ballpark in farm country.
    Last edited by voicefromthestands; 06-04-2019 at 09:32 AM.
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    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    forgot the only other one

    handled a wind claim for a vegas magician (stage name) that i’d prev never heard of named drake deven. he’s a big enough star to have a stage name so there’s that. dudes home was an homage to magic. he was cool as heck and basically proceeded to entertain me for 4 hrs while i handled his 2 hr (if that) claim.

    he’s boys w/ president trump (due to business not politics). says he’s a charming man who makes you feel like you’re the only person in the room when talking to you and remembers everyone’s name.....said he had an uncanny ability to do that.

    talked mostly sports and how he got into acting. he dk anything about college sports so it was nfl mostly. this was last summer.....lol i told him i was worried about mahomes and hoped his pats would rule the roost again as they were my only hope (i hate the chiefs).....pretty funny considering how the season played out.

    he did a penny ante magic trick for me and was smooth. it was easy to see why he’s a success and born to entertain.

    he told me to hit him up for free tix to his show when i’m in town next (i told him my brother lives there) which i will not do as i’m sure he was just being nice but i would hang out with him again he was very down to earth in spite of his profession and success and ridic stage costume which google confirms makes him look nothing like himself but perhaps that’s the point.

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    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon View Post
    Ate pizza with Laker at Jake's.
    Name dropper.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Personal Story About YOUR Interaction With A Big Sports Personality

    Farted on Verne Lundquist once while waiting on his table the night before a broadcast.

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