As part of our next series, we will be featuring ‘Dodger run-in’s’ at Dodgers Nation. These are fan stories submitted of when they ran into a member of the Dodgers organization somewhere random around town. If you would like to be part of our next column of run-in’s, you can submit your story here. Enjoy the second installment of this fun series. We will keep running these as long as the fan stories keep coming in!
Mike (Meeting Tim Wallach)
In 1995 I attended a baseball camp at CSUN. These youth camps always got some player to “sponsor” the camp. “Sponsor” meant drop by on the last day, take pics with the kids, and leave. At the last day of the camp, a car pulls up, and Tim Wallach gets out. I remember him talking on one of those big mid-90s cell phones. I was the first to get to meet him and take a picture out of the group. I was young, and awkward, and didn’t know how to begin the interaction. So I hugged him – for much longer than was comfortable. He stood there tense and weird. 20 years later when he joined the Dodgers coaching staff, I was on a stadium tour before a game. We went down the elevator to the same hallway players go to to get to the club house. As we get off the elevator, there stood Wallach. He gave me this look… like he kind of recognized me but wasn’t sure from where… I didn’t have the audacity to tell him that “I was the fat kid at that CSUN camp that hugged you 20 years ago”… because chances are he would have just said “What?” … but what if he said “Holy shit, that was you?”
Anonymous (Yasiel Puig At Dodgers Fanfest)
One of my best top moments as a Dodgers Fan came at Dodgers Fanfest 2014. Yasiel Puig had just finished coming off a great 2013 Rookie season in which he made his first All Star team. Me and my attended Fanfest to get our custom made split blue/white colored jersey to get autographed by Puig. Thinking it was 2 separate jerseys, he attempted to pull them apart to sign both. Realizing it was one jersey, he thought it was a cool Jersey and decided to keep my jersey and give me the home white jersey he was wearing. Fast forward to February 2017, Yasiel Puig surprised my son and his friends for his 15th birthday at his bowling party in the city of El Monte. For those wondering if Yasiel is for the kids, I’ll be the first to say “He is”. He spent about 3 hours bowling and had a score of over 200. A day my son and his friends will never forget.
Max (Clayton Kershaw Encounter)
Bree (Matt Kemp At The County Fair)
Anonymous (Grandma Meets Mickey Hatcher)
We were at LAX picking my brother up from college and ran into Mickey Hatcher. My grandma, who was a die hard fan and was wearing her silky blue dodger jacket yelled “Mickey” across the airport. He was so kind, came over and gave grandma a hug and chatted with her. She never stopped telling that story over and over to anyone who would listen. It was definitely a highlight of her life and I’ve always been grateful to Mr Hatcher for engaging with grandma. I hope he knows how much that meant to her.
C. Hendrickson (Meeting Willie Crawford)
N. Jones (Run-in With Mike Kinkade)
Alex B. (Meeting Eric Karros)
I was born and raised a Dodger fan and when I was 9 years old (20 years ago), a friend and I spotted Eric Karros in the crowd at a youth basketball game at our local high school. We were certain it was him and it took us all the courage we had as little kids to approach him. So we went up to him and said, “Are you Eric Karros?” Mind you, again, we’re 9. We don’t really know the proper manners of approaching a celebrity in public. He replies, “No” and gives us a “get lost” look. We were devastated and so embarrassed that we ran off (and maybe cried, but I can’t remember).
We later found out it was in fact Eric Karros as he came regularly to watch his niece play. And he didn’t like being bothered. If we were in our 20s or older, I think he would have been totally justified in his response. But we were little kids and meeting our first famous athlete in-person. Needless to say it was a regrettable moment that I’ll never forget.
The Fief (Chris Taylor Gets Some Buffalo Wild Wings)
I am the General Manager of Buffalo Wild Wings in Pasadena, CA and it was a night after the Dodgers played a home game. I was closing that night and it was around midnight when I noticed a guy sitting at the far end of the bar top chatting with another guy. I walked by a couple times thought to myself “that guy looks a lot like Chris Taylor” but there’s not way that’s him. Our location is known for getting Dodgers fans to come before during and home games to eat and drink so at this time we had a bar full of fans in Dodgers gear that just came from the game. Chris Taylor had been playing for a month since his call up and was tearing it up! Of all the people inside the bar I was the only one to recognize him. I finally found the courage to go up and ask him if he was Chris Taylor and he replied that he was. I shook his hand and introduced myself. I tried not to make a seen since he was out for a post game meal with a friend but I did get the chance to talk baseball with him for a few minutes. He was a quiet and humble guy. After his meal he ended up asking for the check and at this point I took it upon myself to let him know that I was going to be taking care of his and his friend’s tab for them. At first he insisted on paying but I told him how huge of a fan of his I was already and it was my pleasure to do so. Him and his friend thanked me and I took a picture with him, he left the bartender a generous tip regardless.
After that encounter I thought nothing more until the next day they had a Day game and I was watching the game from Home listening to Orel and Joe’s commentary when Taylor came up to bat. Joe was talking about Chris Taylor having a lot firsts (home runs, every day opportunity to play, etc) and then he mentioned there was an article in the LA times this morning where Taylor got interviewed for and he mentioned that he recently went to a Buffalo Wild Wings for a post game meal and that he got recognized and that someone took care of his meal and said it was no problem. He went on to say that he had never experienced anything like that before. I was shocked listening to joe and Orel talk about all this during a live game and couldn’t believe it!
I’ll never forgot that experience.