* It’s still one of my favorite all-time baseball memories. It was spring training for the Phillies in in the 1980s. My mom was visiting from Philly. She was a hard-core fan of the Phillies and Hall of Fame center fielder Richie Ashburn. Her fealty grew even stronger when Ashburn became a Phillies’ broadcaster. So I took her to a spring training game at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, where access to personnel was a lot easier than during the regular season.
After the game, we waited for the broadcasters to descend from their booth, and I introduced my Mom to Ashburn. He was the quintessential gentleman to a stranger who was a fan. My mother was blown away and said: “I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven.” We all smiled and then headed for the parking lot.
The first thing my mom said when we got in the car was: “I don’t believe I said that!” Then we had a good laugh—and a great memory.
* Spoiler alert: When was the last time the phrase “With all due respect” was followed by anything remotely resembling respect?
* Still my favorite, pre-Trump political bumper sticker—from Tampa’s 2012 hosting of the GOP convention: “Where Stupidity Meets Humidity.” Even Clint Eastwood might agree.
* “Mistakes were made”: Passive voice is often active denial of personal responsibility.
* Nothing exceeds like excess.
* We all notice the inimitable way dogs greet and sniff each other. It’s a canine fist bump.