A week or so ago I got an email from a mysterious character who simply referred to himself as Eric. He claimed he was a writer from Vanity Fair and that he was going to be in Clearwater to see the “Legends Game” at Brighthouse Field on Sunday and then, the Phillies vs Yankees game on Monday, March 23rd.
After a bit of digging I was able to discover that this Eric character was actually Eric Spitznagel, and that he was indeed a freelance journalist who writes regularly for Vanity Fair, Playboy and a host of other online publications including his own blog entitled Vonnegut’s Asshole. He has also written quite a few books including Fast Forward: Confessions of a Porn Screenwriter among others. None of his writing seemed remotely sports or baseball related, but I was flattered that of all people on the planet he could have chosen, he somehow decided to choose me as one of the people he wanted to interview for his story. I agreed to talk with him, and the rest as they say, is now history.
I met Mr. Spitznagel at the Frenchy’s Tiki bar at Brighthouse Field (a place I know all too well) and we sat down for a chat. We talked about baseball, the economy, steroids, the Mountain Goats and a whole host of other things I was thoroughly unqualified to give my opinion on, but I gladly gave my opinion anyway and tried to pretend I was cool and somehow deserving of his attention. We had a few beers and I confessed many probably embarrassing facts about myself which I may later regret, but we’ll see when his article comes out.
He also talked to my wife Monica about why she likes coming to the games, and about her autograph getting skills. She of course claimed that it was me who pimped her out for this inate ability. I had to explain that it was easier for a girl to get an autograph and I would never pimp my wife out for such an activity. She still disagreed. Eric also met our friends Jack and Pam Flick who are fellow baseball junkies and Clearwater Threshers season ticket holders. He seemed quite impressed when Jack pulled out his Jim Kaat baseball card that he had had since he was seven years. Jack was intending to get the card signed by Mr. Kaat who was participating in the Legends game that night. Eric took Jack’s picture holding the card and then let Jack go on his way to get it autographed.
On Monday morning Eric met my wife at the ballpark (while I slaved away in my cubicle at work) and talked with her and the other crazy gate crashers who were in line at the stadium at 9:30 in the morning waiting for gates to open at 10:30. He interviewed our neighbor Tony Bacon a lifelong Phillies fan whose entire third floor is practiacally a Phillies museum, and some of the other folks waiting outside. He then ventured back into the confines of the press corps to hang with “real” baseball people for the rest of the day. We had intended to meet up with him after the game for dinner, but received a text message from him that he had gotten another assignment and needed to fly back to L.A. after the game. Most likely to interview someone much more important than me.
We had a good time, and as I said, I was flattered to have been a part of it all.
We’ll see if I’m still flattered after the article comes out.