Tuesday, December 28, 2010
You Don't Mess With My Wife
“Hello, yes I’d like to speak to Tommy Lasorda...yes, Mr. Lasorda...my name? It is Esperanza? What is yours? This call is in reference to getting my husband a meeting with him. Yes, okay...I can wait.”
The year was 1998, and I was about to celebrate my 37th birthday. Unbeknowngst to me, my wife was planning a big surprise. Little did she know that Tommy Lasorda was presently occupied as the acting General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Heck, she didn’t even know what that meant. She just knew that I liked the man.
“No, I’m not with another baseball organization. No, I’m not a fan, but my husband is, in fact, there’s not a bigger fan than him. Do I have to? Okay I’ll hold.”
She was calling from work, and her coworkers couldn’t believe the hutspa of this 5 ft. 105 lb. firecracker I had as a wife. Living deep within Giant territory, she didn’t care. She loved me and wanted to give me the biggest surprise of my adult life. A meeting with the P.T. Barnum of Dodgerdom, Tommy the Great.
“I have to talk to whom? Miss what? Okay, why can’t I talk to Mr. Lasorda? I can wait, I have no problem with that. Who is she? Okay, well if his personal assistant is the best you can do, I guess I can settle for that.
So she set it up. A meeting with Tommy. A pre-game quick meeting on my birthday. Over the next week or so, she became quick friends with Tommy’s right hand lady. Why? Because she’s the type of person that you either love or hate. A true type A personality. A woman that gets what she wants, who fears nobody, has never been embarrassed in her entire life. The wonderful woman that I fell in love with who to this day defends me and backs me in all that I do.
“Ok, then it’s set, we’ll meet at the entrance to the press box on August 27th. Game against the Expos. Now you are sure we’ll get to meet him, he’s not gonna just blow us off. Any chance he can take my husband into the locker room? Yeah, I didn’t think so, but you can’t blame me for trying. Well, I look forward to meeting you too. And thank you for helping me with the tickets, and you said they are in good seats. Field level, eight rows behind the dugout? Are those good seats?”
Espe knows as much about the game as I do crotcheting, which is nothing. But man, did she swing some sweet ducats for two consecutive games. The second game being Mike Piazza’s first return to L.A. as a visiting New York Met. The meeting with Tommy was fantastic, but it was obvious that he was smitten with me wife and her spunk.
“It’s nice to meet you too Tommy. By the way, this is my husband, Evan. He is your biggest fan ever. He has a book for you to sign. You wouldn’t mind posing for some pictures would you.”
I was dumbstruck and fumbled for words. Eventually after Espe broke the ice I was able to have a somewhat coherent conversation with the man. No, I didn’t tell him that I thought it was idiotic that he dealt away Konerko for Shaw, though I thought about it at the time, I don’t think that would have gone over too good. He signed my Artful Dodger book and told my wife that she reminded him of some of the beautiful women he had seen while playing in Latin American Winter Leagues. It was obvious he could care less about me. I didn’t care, I was too busy eyeing that world series ring on his finger.
“So Tommy, we can comeback tomorrow with prints of these pictures so that you can sign them right? Same place, same time? Okay, well don’t disappoint me Tommy. I don’t like to be disappointed. Well it was a pleasure meeting you too. Thank you for showing up.”
He was there and he signed everything. No one would dare stand up my wife and possibly have to face her wrath. Not even the Artful Dodger himself.