I am a starstruck celebrity gawker. As much as I rail against some celebrities and the odd things they say and do, you put one in front of me and I’ll be at a loss for words. Twitter makes this behavior worse. I’ll Tweet some random actor/actress or public figure something that I think is witty or funny, hoping that I’ll be the one that they respond to with a Favorite or a ReTweet. I’m different, right?! They’ll respond to me!?!
Well, I have had some Twitter conversations with former Atlanta Braves relief pitcher, Mark Wohlers. Man I loved watching this guy pitch fast balls. He is a hero for my family for many different reasons.
And here’s one reason. #TrueStory
One memorable moment happened when my family went to an afternoon game at the good ole Fulton County Stadium to watch the Braves play. Now, if anyone knows Georgia weather in the summer, you might have questioned our sanity for having gone out in the 95 degree weather at 99.9999999% humidity but hey, it’s the Braves!
We arrived at the stadium and sat comfortably in our seats. It didn’t take us long to notice that none other than Mark Wohlers was sitting on top of the dugout, legs dangling, signing autographs for the fans. The fans were mostly kids if memory serves me right. Now, if you have never been to a baseball park before, it’s mostly made out of concrete. The dugout is made out of concrete. What happens to concrete when it has had the sun beat down on it for hours on end? Better yet, what happens to concrete when it is coated with dark navy blue paint and it has had the sun beat down on it for hours on end? On top of that, the actual roof of the dugout is elevated several feet above where the players sit. It’s an elevated stove!
Mark had been sitting on top of this dugout for Lord knows how long, making sure each fan got an autograph. Need I remind you that he was already in uniform so that, combined with the funeral pyre he was sitting on top of, meant that he sacrificed his comfort for his fans.
My little brother wanted to get his baseball cap signed by Mark and my stepmom took my brother over to Mark to get it signed. My Dad and I thought nothing of it.
A couple of minutes had passed and my brother came back with a signed cap while my stepmom came back with an annoyed look on her face. She proceeded to tell my Dad about her experience in getting the cap signed. Apparently, my stepmom had to stretch over the dugout with the cap to make sure Mark could reach it. Well, my stepmom let the cap go too early and the cap went tumbling down into the dugout…
the dugout out in which he had been sitting on top of…
the dugout that he has been sitting on top of as he literally baked in the Georgia sun…
the dugout that he has been sitting on top sweating buckets from the unbearable humidity.
I can imagine the frustration Mark felt as he watched the cap succumb to gravity’s allure as it slipped through his fingers and fell to the ground. If I were Mark, I personally would have done a Bane on the entire stadium. Mark’s response was that he rolled his eyes, sucked it up, climbed off the dugout, went into the 7th layer of Hell, retrieved my brother’s baseball cap, signed and handed it back.
Apparently my stepmom didn’t appreciate the eye roll.
So when she told this story to my Dad, my Dad simply laughed and relayed the story to me. My Dad said something to the effect of, “How did you expect him to react? He’s been out there in the blazing sun signing autographs. Of course he is going to get annoyed.”
Now, it’s just a memory that we all laugh at when it comes to mind. Even my stepmom laughs at it now. I do not think she was even all that upset not 5 seconds after it happened.
Well, now I follow Mark Wohlers on Twitter and he follows me. #CelebrityFriend This story goes out to him. It’s to let him know that my family has always been big fans of yours and it meant a lot to us watching you pitch for the Braves all those years.
And don’t sweat it about my stepmom. She laughs at it now. And thanks for making my brother happy that one hot, humid summer day.