Hunterpalooza, Part 2.
What a day. An exhiliarating, exhausting, exciting, activity-filled day that consisted of, in no particular order:
1. Taking pictures of Hunter.
2. Shooting video of Hunter (please bear with me on that one. The videos have been safely saved on my computer. That’s the easy part. Editing them and posting on my blog? Well, let’s just say that’s not the easy part. They’ll be posted ASAP. Soon. I promise).
3. Giving Hunter the camcorder so he can shoot the All-Star experience from his vantage point.
4. Taking pictures, shooting videos and following Hunter, while avoiding being stepped on by ESPN crew, which was also shadowing him (By far the biggest challenge of the day).
Hunter had a full day, as you can imagine. The beauty part of the big Major League Baseball events — All-Star Game, World Series, Hall of Fame inductions — is that you never know what you’re going to see, or, more accurately, who you’re going to see.
The one thing I’ve learned is that famous people like being around other famous people. Apparently, Cards skipper (and NL coach) Tony La Russa and legendary college hoops coach Bobby Knight are buddies. Pence happened to walk by Knight near La Russa’s office before batting practice Monday, and the two struck up a conversation.
“You’re from the Dallas area, aren’t you?” Knight asked Pence.
“Yes, sir, I am,” Pence answered.
“The first time I saw you, I couldn’t believe you weren’t a basketball player,” Knight said.
The two continued to talk, until La Russa cut short the conversation and ushered Knight into his office. Later, Knight laughed and apologized to Pence for being so abrupt, and La Russa also said something about it in a semi-joking manner, which sounded to me like he felt kind of bad for interrupting the conversation.
Pence, in typical Pence fashion, shrugged his shoulders and laughed it off.
“That’s something I won’t forget, I can tell you that,” he said. “La Russa and Bobby Knight arguing over where to talk to me.”
Shortest team meeting in history: Monday, in the National League clubhouse. NL manager Charlie Manuel walks into the clubhouse and says, “listen up, gang, just a few words…batting practice is in a few minutes, and we’ll have a quick meeting before tomorrow’s game.” Meeting over. Great stuff. I mean, really, what do you say to a roomful of players you are normally trying to beat over the course of a season? What are you going to go over? Signs? Probably not. Rules? There are none during the All-Star Game. Better to keep it short.
My Aha! moment…
Ever looked at someone and thought, I know I’ve seen that person before. I know that person. Who the heck is that person? Who? Who?
Fortunately, I figured this one out within about an hour. When you’re at one of these events, there’s a list of criteria that helps to narrow down the field pretty quickly. For example:
1. He’s in the home clubhouse, receiving a tour from La Russa. This means he’s someone established, and probably famous.
2. He doesn’t look quite comfortable with his surroundings. He appears to be really impressed with the clubhouse scene. That eliminates the possibility that he’s a former Major League player.
3. Yet while he doesn’t look comfortable, he carries himself with a lot of authority. He’s confident. Clearly, he’s quite accomplished in his particular field of expertise.
Ah-ha! It’s none other than Capt. C.B. “Sully” Sullenberger, the US Airways pilot who made an emergency landing in the Hudson River and saved 155 lives.
And now, for the rest of the pictures from Hunterpalooza, Part 2:
Padres reliever Heath Bell and Pence, hamming it up for the camera.
Pence takes swings in the cage during the NL team’s batting practice.
Everywhere Hunter turned, there were more cameras in his face. I am partial to this particular crew, because it belongs to the MLB Network. Best national baseball programming on the air, by a landslide.
Prince Fielder takes BP.
Batting practice is always a madhouse during the big events. Here’s ESPN’s Peter Gammons, getting ready for a live shot near the visitors dugout.
Two NL Central stars, Pence and Ryan Braun, hang out before BP.
Bobby Knight and Capt. Sullenberger. Really, how often do you see pairings like this one?
Barry Larkin and the MLB Network crew do their show from the sidelines, near the home dugout.
American League manager Joe Maddon.
Pence chats with NL skipper Charlie Manuel during BP.
Miguel Tejada, during BP.
Hall of Famer and Cardinals legend Ozzie Smith.
Pence takes in the scene as the NL team files onto the field.
Pence and Heath Bell sign autographs…video rolling, of course.
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