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I've had a good number of run-ins, considering I'm only 15. First and foremost, I met a great deal of the Twins players a couple years ago on the first day of Spring Training while I was vacationing near Fort Myers. Great guys, every one of them. Among the notables: Torii Hunter, David Ortiz, Ron Gardenhire, A.J. Pierzynski, Joe Mauer. Gardenhire was exceptionally friendly to everyone. I later on met Doug Mientkiewicz at an autograph signing at an Applebee's. We got in towards the end of the signing, and we ate dinner after we got his autograph. Mientkiewicz later sat down in the booth next to ours for dinner. Seemed like a nice enough guy. And finally from the Twins side of things, I met Twins GM Terry Ryan at TwinsFest 2003, while he was watching Joe Mays pitch to some little kids who were playing a pickup game they organize at TwinsFest. I considered joining in, but I was considerably older than all the other kids, and they were doing enough damage to Mays (I should have known right then and there that he wouldn't have a good season...). Other than the Twins, I was walking around Downtown Minneapolis last October (I was down there for the Twins playoff rally) when I stumbled upon a group of people huddled around a velvet rope in front of the best hotel in Minneapolis and a huge tour bus idling nearby. I quickly found out that the Yankees were about to come out of the hotel and take the bus to the Dome to practice for their playoff games. Albeit I wasn't very excited about getting hated Yankees players autographs, a star is a star, so I hung around. Some minor players who no one really recognized came out, but there were two notables: Hideki Matsui, who was far too busy talking on his cell phone to be bugged by mere fans (which, in my mind, makes his so called "robbery" from the Rookie of the Year award all the more justified, at least in my mind), and Aaron Boone, who actually was a pretty nice guy, since he stopped to sign my paper. Unfortunately, my pen didn't work at all, so that was disappointing. And finally, Paul Molitor walked by me when I was on a Metrodome tour at TwinsFest a couple years back. He was very friendly with all the fans, and seemed like a great guy. Beyond that, the Troy State football team (I think that was the team ... I don't follow college sports much, yet) occupied the section next to where I was sitting at a Twins game back in September. Didn't even notice them until they left in about the seventh inning. And finally, I spotted Kevin Garnett at a WNBA Lynx game over the summer in his courtside seat. About halfway through the game, Kevin McHale came down and talked with him. And in the fourth quarter, Torii Hunter walked in one entry way in the stadium, walked through the front row, stopping to chat with Garnett, and back out. I was star-struck, even though we were quite a ways away. Far more entertaining than the game itself, anyway. I think that's about it. Yeah, I'd say I've been lucky.
posted by FPM2K at 09:00 PM on November 21
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