I didn't intend to write about Bert Blyleven for my Monday entry until I received the following email from a Minnesota Twins Baseball Fantasy Camp player yesterday evening.
Rich - it was great to meet you at the camp and love the story.
I have uploaded the video of Bert meeting you -
I am so happy they let you play and pitch in a game - it is a great time at the
camp. Lee Stange is a great guy to have as your manager (he was my manager last
year - 2010) as well.
Take care - hope to see you in Cooperstown in July.
The email from Paul Bennett made my Sunday. It was a pleasant surprise, to say the least, as I had not seen a video from the night I met Bert. I had no idea that I would be asked to speak that evening so my comments were unrehearsed. I just went with the flow. My wife, who wasn't able to join me for the trip, enjoyed watching the video as well. It made her feel as if she was back there with me.
Blyleven opens by talking about fellow Hall of Famers Harmon Killebrew and Willie Stargell. Stan Dickman, the Executive Director of the Minnesota Twins Baseball Fantasy Camp, then asks Bert about the Internet just beyond the two-minute mark on the video. Check out the following YouTube to see how it all unfolded from there.
By the way, Paul had a great week, too. He received the under-the-age-of-50 Gold Glove Award and was the starting pitcher in the championship game that his team won, 4-3.
Thank you, Paul. I will see you in Cooperstown six months from today.
On a related note, Stan added a news story to his website yesterday. Here is an excerpt from 2011 Camp — In the Books and One for the Ages!
But perhaps the highlight of the night came when Bert was surprised with a visit by Rich Lederer, the Southern California Blogger that had taken up the cause for Bert's inclusion into the Hall of Fame eight years prior. In his press conference on the day of the vote announcement and again at the Tuesday night banquet, Bert had singled Rich out for his tireless efforts on the internet in making the case for Bert's body of work being Hall of Fame worthy. The look on Bert's face when Rich was introduced was priceless and will long stand as one of the most exciting moments in our camp's history.