If you recall my conversation with Della Britton Baeza, the JRF’s 2006 golf outing was to be held at the Lake of Isles golf club at Foxwoods. I was invited to volunteer, and that is just what I did. The work portion was fun and the weather was beautiful. I am not one to get star struck over too many “famous” people, but meeting Rachel Robinson was pretty awesome. A true connector to a living legend, and one who helped start carrying on Jackie’s amazng legacy. There were several names and faces that were easily recognizable from the world of professional sports, big business and even the big screen. I made fast friends with someone I cherish as an individual and then a ballplayer, “El Tiante“, Luis Tiant. He invited me to join him over breakfast and for 20 minutes we talked pitching. From brushbacks to 0-2 counts, we hit a lot of subject matter in the brief time we spent together. We talked about some of what makes the greats great, like how to learn how to walk before you can run, especially as a pitcher. As our conversation concluded, I asked him for one favor, “May I see your ring?” I asked with eyes obviously buldging out of my head. He didn’t even stop talking about wasting one in the dirt on an 0-2 count as he slipped the ring from his finger and into my awaitng hand. It fit just fine, just fine indeed.
I want to thank Della, Gary and Michelle for letting me give a little of my time back to a cause that just keeps on making champions. I am proud to have been associated with the Jackie Robinson Foundation for this one, beautiful day.