Last Sunday, a friend and I went out in Newport to enjoy the sunset and cap our weekend with a drink. With the weather warming up and crowds taking up most of the room in our favorite haunts, we decided to head into our “home base,” to put it into sports terms, the Beach Ball. What could be better than a nice, cool environment, patrons and bartenders who know my name, and a bunch of televisions tuned to the last round of the Masters and the Angels hosting the Toronto Blue Jays?
Needless to say, time got away from us, when all of a sudden I looked up, the Angels had won, and somebody named Charl Schwartzel birdied the last four holes of Augusta to hold off the likes of Adam Scott, Jason Day, and a guy you might have heard of, Tiger Woods, to win the Masters.
A few more hours had passed by, the sun had gone down, and I noticed an extremely tall gentleman had walked into the bar. Let’s put it this way, even when he sat down on a barstool, he was taller than me.
That giant of a human being turned out to be Newport Beach resident Jared Weaver, who we just watched throw 125 pitches in 7.2 innings, give up only a single earned run, and fan 15 Blue Jays.
If that’s not an impressive stat line, I don’t know what is!
More importantly to Weaver, the Angels won the game 3-1.
I’ve bumped into Weaver around Newport before, as I have John Lackey and Mike Napoli when they’ve been in Mutt Lynchs or Rudy’s. I’ve never had the guts to speak with them, and honestly, I didn’t want to bother them. Standing next to the 6-foot 6-inch Weaver at 5-feet 8-inches myself was intimidating, to say the least, but I wanted to congratulate him on a game well pitched.
Of course, being a huge Angels fan my entire life, I was a blabbering fan who couldn’t simply carry on a normal conversation, which I’m sure he loved as he was just trying to relax with friends after a strenuous outing.
There’s just something about athletes and celebrities that takes my breath away. I actually wish I was speechless that day instead of fawning over him like 14-year-old girl adores Justin Bieber.
Despite my fandom, Weaver was incredibly polite and tolerant, shook my hand, and said thanks for the support. I’m sure he gets it all the time, since it has to be difficult blending in at his height. I always forget that at the core, these athletes are still people just like you and me. They have feelings, they have good days, and they have bad days.
Luckily I was annoying Weaver on a good day. So if you happen to be reading this Mr. Weaver, I apologize for doting over you. Congratulations on a great game, and who knows, maybe we can talk another time.