Home > Uncategorized > Willie Mays, Matt Cain, History of Baseball and a sandwich

Willie Mays, Matt Cain, History of Baseball and a sandwich

Lately I haven’t had much time to do anything but get to work and take care of my family. We are only two months into having Cody, and I know that it won’t be this hard for much longer, but this is what we have to do. So I guess this is a half-hearted apology for the lack of excitement on here lately. I have to repeat that none of this means anything without my family, so I have no problem pushing off trying to get things crossed off in order to raise my beautiful family that means more than anything to me.

I have been able to make some baby steps on a few items, and just something cool that we decided to do.

First off I finally finished the Willie Mays biography Willie Mays, The Life, The Legend by James Hirsch. I was blown away by this biography. I now feel that I was a poser of a fan of the man and really didn’t have anything other than a highlight reel knowledge of his contribution to the game and my favorite team. As a fan of the game I learned so much of the history of the Giants that made me feel more complete as a fan. I also have so much more respect for the man that IS the greatest to play the game. No one else has had his skills as a player and overcame so many obstacles with as much class and respect for fellow man. Being exposed to some of the situations that he endured made me angry, frustrated, embarrassed, and sad. Needless to say these are not emotions that I usually think of when I think of baseball. I believe that Mr. Hirsch did an excellent job of being faithful to the truth of the subject matter yet respecting the man whose story he was blessed with telling. All of the highlights are here, The Catch, the pennants, the Series, the move to San Fran, but each is expanded to include Mays own thoughts and how he feels the famous highlights don’t paint a complete picture of him as a player, and that he doesn’t consider most of them to be his most incredible moments of the diamond. To find out what he considers his finest plays…you should pick up the book.

An incredible life that was lived in the spotlight of both coasts.(I had to read it on my Kindle because my wife wouldnt let me handle our autographed copy.)

It was funny that I had to purchase the Kindle version of the book, even though we already owned it. Dani wouldn’t let me read our autographed copy because it is to special to us. After reading the book and knowing all that Mays accomplished and what he had to go through to accomplish it I am glad that we kept the book in pristine shape. It is quite a collectors item and will be awesome to hand down to our sons. (They better not turn around and sell it.)

My pick for 2011 Cy Young Award. (This supposed to be a family picture with Matt, but the guy zooomed in, Robby turned and blocked out his brother Cody, and Dani was cut out completely. Complete fail on family pic with Giants Ace.)

My cousin that lives in Texas married a NorCal boy somehow. Great news is that is sounds like he is just as big a Niners and Giants fan as I am, and has successfully converted my cousin. They flew out for a couple of the Giants opening series against the Cardinals and it would have been nice to go to the games with them, but having a 6 week old at the park just didn’t sound like a great day. Instead my wife thought that we should go and get Matt Cain‘s autograph at a signing that he was doing, and I thought that we could meet up with my cousin afterwards for dinner or at least a drink.

The trip to the signing actually didn’t go badly at all, both of our boys are pretty good car travelers so far. We had to make a stop and pick up some things at Costco, and find Robby a new Giants shirt (he had outgrown all of the ones from last season. I swear the kid can’t stay in a size of clothes for more than a week.) While in the parking lot our car battery died. So we had to wait about 45 minutes for the tow truck to find us and jump it. Through all of this our boys were awesome. I thank God everyday that he has blessed us with sons that are pretty mellow and go with the flow no matter the situation. After all that we still had over an hour to get to the card shop.

Once we got to the card shop it could have taken a turn for the worst. It was freezing, and there was a line outside the place (not so much a line a convergence of many many people huddled around trying to get a peek at Cain) and we still had to get our ticket. I made my way with lil Cody to the door and asked how to get my ticket. The man asked my name to make sure I had one reserved and then let me in to pay for it. While in the shop they announced that tickets 160 and lower were allowed. I glanced at my ticket and saw we were 270. We had more than a hundred people in front of us!! Cody and Robby were going to freeze unless we could think of something. I know they weren’t going to want to get back in the car. Thankfully the shop owner told me to just get in line. He didn’t want lil Cody to be sitting out in the cold. I could have hugged and kissed the man. They let me go and grab Dani and Robby and we got in the short line to the table.

Once we got to the table I handed our camera off to a guy that said he would take our picture with Matt. I got down and squeezed next to the table. Dani handed Robby the ball to give to Matt to sign. Robby then rears back and says ball…

My son might be two years old, but he knows how to throw a ball across a house. I had a vision of Robby smoking one at Matt Cain’s head and blackening his eye. Just what I need…to put an All Star on the DL with a broken orbit because my 2 year old can’t control his arm strength.  Thankfully he then just handed to ball to Matt. Cain signed the ball and gave it back to Robby.

At this time we are being ushered out and the guy with our camera tells me that he might have had it zoomed in too much. The “bouncer” is telling us we have to go and there will be no more posing for pictures. So we said good-bye, I shook his hand (became dazzled by the World Series ring that he had received the day before) and we left. When we got back to the car I glanced at the pic. It was great of Matt and I, but Robby is facing the wrong direction and his hat effectively blacked out his brother altogether. In addition Dani is absent completely. So much for a great family photo. But we have another autographed ball for the boys.

Matt Cain, winner of Game 2 of the 2010 World Series!! The game that I was at!!

Afterwards I was unable to get a hold of my cousin to meet up. All in all it was a pretty failed day. Car broke down, met Matt Cain for 30 seconds, picture was a failure, didn’t meet my cousin from out of state. The great thing though is that we had fun on this misadventure. Even when the going got tough Dani and I kept our spirits up and our kids persevered through all of it. Yet another reason that I am amazed with my wife and the family that she has given me.

A lot of baseball lately. My newest addition to the family, Cody, was named after Cody Ross of the Giants and the great run that he had through the playoffs. Well, this kid refuses to sleep from anywhere around 11:30 pm to 3:00 am for at least an hour and a half. He just wants to be held and rocked. I have taken advantage of this time to knock out some of Ken Burns’ documentary Baseball. I am now in the top of the third inning and almost all of it had been watched while hanging out with Cody in the early morning hours. If reading Willie Mays’ bio made me feel like a better fan of the game this doc is giving me a degree in baseball. I am amazed at how much I’ve learned and how entertaining he has made it. The early innings are mostly pictures and stories, but done in a great fashion. Like most Ken Burns stuff that I have seen you have to want to watch it to get the most our of it, but this is one of my great passions in life. I have been a fan of this game for as long as I can remember.

The start screen from our Blu-Ray streaming our Netflix of Baseball

I would highly recommend this for any true fan of the game. You will learn an incredible amount of how the game was founded, formed and established as the national pastime. You also get insight into the origins of all the traditions that you might take for granted, such as the President throwing out the first pitch of the season. I was fascinated and dismayed to learn that my Giants should have been in the 1908 World Series instead of the Cubs (it was the last one they won), but because of a mistake by one player known as the Merkle Boner, they were left out. I know believe that is why the Cubs are cursed. They won a Series they never should have been in!!!

The smells coming off it as it grilled made my mouth water!!

Since I didn’t want this to be completely a baseball post I want to tell you about a sandwich I made recently. Might seem a bit strange, but this is the best grilled cheese that I have ever made in my life!!! Most of the credit for that is going to have to go to Thomas Keller, widely considered the best Chef in America today. Men’s Health printed an article tasking some of the best chefs to reimagine normal, manly dishes. Chef Keller did a grilled cheese that is incredible. I also did the ribs from the same article and guest posted on Joy of Pork for The Cartman. This sandwich had two types of cheese, jalapeno pepper, red bell pepper and sourdough bread. It was a work of art and tasted just a good as it looked. I was very impressed with myself for being able to follow in Chef Keller’s foot steps with something very simple. Hey, at least I can say I’ve tasted something that he has made before…at least until someone takes me to the French Laundry because Lord knows I’m not in any position to afford a meal like that anytime soon. If you would like to attempt this easy, yet delicious sandwich you can find the recipe here at Spicy Pepper, Monterey Jack and Cheddar Grilled Cheese.

It tasted so much better than it looks here, and I think it looks pretty good.

Bon Appetit

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  1. May 3, 2011 at 7:43 am

    That’s so great you met Matt Cain!! I’m jealous. I’ve been having some major AT&T Park withdrawls with the new season in full swing. And now that I’ll be moving to New York it looks like my long distance relationship with the Giants has lengthened. I’ll definitely be representing the Giants no matter where I am though! 🙂

  2. May 3, 2011 at 8:13 am

    I hate it when you meet someone famous and they don’t live up to your expectations or something goes wrong. I met Britney Spears when I was in college and I ended up hating her. She was such a bitchy person!

    That sandwich sounds absolutely mouth watering, I am going to have to try it out!

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