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The Major-Leaguer Just Down The Street

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by doctorquant, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    Been meaning to mention this sometime, not that it really means anything, but I ran into my two-doors-down neighbor at the Kroger the other day and it reminded me that y'all might be interested in this story. Thought about posting it in the baseball thread, but it's not really about current baseball happenings.

    We've lived here for eight years now, and we got to know this guy after we'd been here a couple of years. We were having a Super Bowl tailgate party in the driveway -- hey, it's usually nice at Super Bowl time here in North Texas, unless, of course, the Super Bowl's actually here -- and he strolled down to introduce himself. He had a beer, we talked a bit, and he said, "Hey, you guys are sports fans, I've got something you might be interested in." Ten minutes later he was back ... with his World Series ring (to preserve his anonymity, it was from a World Series in the 1968-to-1972 range). He never appeared, but he was on the roster. He's a good guy -- goofy as a three-dollar-bill, but a good guy -- and just sort of a plugger. He has some nondescript job, drives a Toyota, drinks homemade sangria. Definitely not in sync with the stereotype of the major-league alum. Of course, being a marginal major-leaguer back then didn't pay quite so much.

    Living around here, you run up against major-league alums quite often. I was playing golf one day, walking, and wound up playing along with another walker out there. I could tell he'd been some sort of an athlete and asked him about it. It turns out he had been a first-round draft pick in the early 90s and made a couple dozen appearances in the majors before being sent back down and retiring when he couldn't make it back. Another time, I was at the practice range and kept thinking I recognized the voice of the guy getting a lesson a couple of spots over. Turned around and there was Tom Grieve, former GM of and current color analyst for the Rangers. Maybe it's just the small size of Arlington as compared to other major-league cities, but it seems that major-league alums are always just around the corner.

    Anybody else experience stuff like that?
  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    That's a good one. My mom used to talk all the time about the Milwaukee Braves player who lived across the street from her -- just a basic two-story house on a busy street.

    The elementary school where my kids go has produced exactly one professional athlete -- or one who made the highest level anyway -- and he ended up playing for the 49ers. I got to know him a little bit through reporting, and although he lives in a different town now, his parents are in the same house where he grew up. So I see him every now and then.

    He said visiting his parents -- and especially going to a restaurant or grocery store -- is a major, major ordeal because he might see dozens of people he grew up with.
  3. MTM

    MTM Well-Known Member

    Reggie Smith lived in our community when I was in high school. I saw him buying toilet paper at the supermarket one time.

    Also went to school with at least four sons of then-current or former Major Leaguers.
  4. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    My roommate from college lived next door to Oscar Gamble for several years, and later lived next door to Oscar's ex-wife and kids.

    Barry Lyons, the Mets' back-up catcher in the late 1980s, is now athletic director at the YMCA in this area, so I deal with him on a fairly regular basis.
  5. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    A member of the US Men's Soccer team grew up up the street from me, apparently. He was older than me though so I didn't know him.

    I see a basketball hall of famer at the gym on a regular basis now. Good dude when we make small talk.
  6. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Another one I almost forgot ... my ex-girlfriend's uncle (Raymond Brown) was MVP of the 1958 Cotton Bowl for Ole Miss and started at cornerback for the Colts as a rookie in the "Greatest Game Ever Played" vs. the Giants. He's a prominent lawyer and Ole Miss booster here in town these days.
  7. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    My uncle played for the Lions and a few other teams. Was an All-American.

    Gimel Martinez's family moved in across the street from us when he was playing at UK.

    That's all I've got. :D
  8. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    One of my childhood friends -- his father and mine worked together and our families did stuff together all the time until we were about 12 or so -- was an all-conference basketball player in a major conference and a first-round draft choice who played five seasons in the NBA.

    I haven't talked to him in ages. I ran into him awhile back when I was covering a Division II game and he was an assistant coach for one of the teams. He recently got out of coaching and, my brother tells me, is now living comfortably off the investments his agent made for him while he was earning an NBA paycheck.
  9. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Played Little League against a future major leaguer, a future NBA player who retired with a championship ring and a future Big 8 basketball player.
  10. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    In the non-sports division, the older brother of my older brother's best friend was the synthesizer player in the band Berlin. He lived 10 or 12 houses down the street.

  11. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Berlin had some good songs.
    And Terri Nunn was very attractive.
  12. MTM

    MTM Well-Known Member

    My oldest brother's best friend through junior high and high school went on to play a few years in the Major Leagues and managed as high as AAA.
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