Thursday, August 9, 2007

Don't leave until the bus pulls out

Tommy WatkinsIt was Spring Training 2004 and we were at the Red Sox Complex and Tommy came up and asked Anna to stay after the game. She made a face after he walked off.

"Don't go nowhere after the game," she tells me. "He wants to ask for money and he won't do that if someone's there. He'll be too ashamed." So...okay.

We get through the game. I think that was the one where the foul ball nearly hit Anna and she tried to bury herself into my shoulder for protection. "You're supposed to catch it," I tell her.

"I'm not breaking my nails!" She shows me her claws. Nice. We get done, we talk to some of the coaches. She sees Tommy come walking over.

"Don't leave until the bus pulls out," she tells me. So I hang. I guess it was a nice stratigy, but it didn't work. Tommy still got a 20 spot out of her. I guess I wasn't enough of a "stranger" for him to be embarrassed around.

In any case, Miracle Alumni and Fort Myers resident Tommy Watkins got the call to the Minnesota Twins yesterday after nearly 10 years of professional baseball. Watkins' promotion to the big leagues "was one of the most emotional call-ups I've ever been involved with," according to Red Wings manager Stan Cliburn. Minnesota Twins GM Terry Ryan made the announcement to the team Wednesday after arriving from Rochester, and Cliburn said Ryan's announcement about Watkins "set off a joyous celebration in the clubhouse, because of everyone's love, passion and respect for Tommy." Watkins was "overcome by emotion" when he heard the news, and Cliburn joked that the promotion "left Tommy speechless - the first time any of us could ever say that about him".

Probably the first time Anna could say that about him too.

Watkins is the 14th player to go from the Wings to the Twins this season, and the sixth to make his big league debut. He will wear number 61 with Minnesota.

A graduate of Riverdale High School in Fort Myers, Watkins was a 38th round pick in the 1998 draft and spent 2 years with the GCL Twins and appeared in 198 games for the Miracle in the 2002 and 2003 seasons. He was the only professional baseball player in history to be immortalized on a bobble-butt figurine, which was distributed by the Miracle in 2003.

I'm wondering, now that's he's drawing a major league salary, if he's planning on paying her back all the money he owes her.

It's only for a short time. He's replacing Brian Buscher in the Twins line up. Buscher was placed on the 15 day disabled list with a leg infection.

The News-Press ran a nice story on the call up, but they refer to his step-mom as his mother, which I'm sure made Anna livid.

Anyway, it's a nice feel good story, after the tragidy with Barry Bonds.

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