Sorry for the delay. This post is just about three months late.
Coming up in SW PA, you better know football. I’ve got that covered. You should probably know hockey. Got that covered. And you should at least be familiar with baseball. Got it. Also coming up in SW PA, it’s most likely that you’ve been to many baseball games, possibly a hockey game, and if you’re lucky (or know someone), you may have been to a football game or two.
We went to a LOT of baseball games. Most years on the fourth of July with some other random games sprinkled in between. We always sat in the peanut (or nosebleed) section and it was always a great time. We even got a ball once. A lot of good family memories revolve around baseball, but I digress.
I learned to love the game. And as I grew older, the players became more than “the guy on that base”, more than “the third baseman”, they started to be come Andy, Bobby, and Barry. They were real people, not just guys you see on TV. People like us. But maybe that’s just a Pittsburgh thing.
In the early 90s, sitting around the house with my dad watching the Buccos, I came to have this tremendous crush on Kevin Young. One night while we were watching a game and Kevin made one of his (if not they should be) trademark split stretches to make a play. I’m still jealous. I can’t split like that. I looked over at my dad and said, “I’m gonna meet him one day.” To which my dad mumbled something along the lines of “Uh huh, yeah right, okay, good luck.”
Fast forward this story about 5 years. I’m still following the Pirates and now I’m managing a restaurant in the Pittsburgh area.
Mind you, this is a memory of approximately 15 years old, so I might not get every detail right. 🙂
It was a Friday or Saturday early evening in the restaurant. I know this because it was a little busy but not overly yet and I had on a really cute outfit. I only pulled those out on weekends, lol. I must’ve been the bar manager that night. Otherwise I would’ve noticed before someone pointed out our guest. One of the waitstaff came to me and said, “Who’s the guy at table 71?” I didn’t know so, rather than do a walk-by, I went upstairs so I could take a look.
I looked over and immediately thought that he looked familiar but I just couldn’t place him. I didn’t think I had gotten to the point of staring, but apparently I did as our guest looked up at me and busted me. Were I the blushing sort, I would’ve been stop light red. Knowing I had to go speak but being extremely embarrassed, I put on my big girl shoes and went downstairs.
With all the courage I could muster, I walked up to the table and apologized for staring. And drooling. Mildly. Oh, yeah, and that hey you look familiar but I can’t quite place you. He looked at me and asked me if he had to tell me. Yeah, that threw me off a bit from my usual snappy, smartass answers. I think I mumbled something about he didn’t have to but I would appreciate it and I think I started to slink away when he said…
I’m Kevin Young.
15 years later, I’m still not sure what happened right after that. I’m hoping that I didn’t make a big fool of myself. Pretty sure I didn’t since Kevin came back to the restaurant and didn’t make fun of me. At least not for that, lol. But the best part, was getting to go home to share this story with my dad. I don’t know that he got to meet a lot of Pittsburgh athletes, but I got to bring him stories of my run-ins and I know he enjoyed them.