In 1955 I was at the Texas Open golf tournament in San Antonio walking on my way to someplace when I heard a booming voice “Hey kid they got any cold beer around here?” I stopped and looked about. There were lots of people milling but none of them were paying attention to me so I thought it must be an aberration.
“Hey feller I’m up here” the voice bellowed. I was standing beside a ladder that climbed straight up about 10 feet to a platform where I saw an arm wildly waving at me. “Think you could find a couple of cold ones somewhere?”
The arm belonged to Dizzy Dean and I recognized his beaming face right off. He played for several teams including the St. Louis Cardinals and was the last pitcher in the National League to win 30 games in one season.
He was one of my all-time favorite baseball heroes (along with the ageless Satchel Paige who famously said “How old would I be if I didn’t know how old I wuz?”
About 10 minutes later I climbed the ladder holding a six pack of Jax beer and a Dr. Pepper. My cost was almost 2 bucks but I didn’t care because this was Dizzy Dean . I was thrilled even more than when I shook hands with Sammy Baugh.
Dizzy was commentating on the radio between sips and talking with me during commercials and more sips.
It was Sunday afternoon and as the tournament wound down Dizzy finished off the last Jax and my bottle of soda was almost done. We said our good-byes and I climbed down the ladder expecting to see a bunch of photographers recording me and Dizzy. There weren’t any but it was an experience I’ve enjoyed for the last 63 years.
A personal note:
I’ve been criticized for the way I write and use words. I say I too much, mix verb tenses, use commas wrong, and I can’t spell.
I just read through my story above about Dizzy Dean, and removed all of the commas. I feel so good I may just go get myself another Dr. Pepper. f