The highlight, Thursday night, was not what I expected.
The Bedford Ice House crowd was great, and there were smiles on lots of kids’ faces, and we collected several hundreds of toys for Cowboy Santas. All really cool.
I’d never met Matt Bush or Delino DeShields or Matt Lipka, and I’m glad I got that chance. Three really good dudes, and — for different reasons — each will tell you how eye-opening it’s been to join the Rangers organization, based on where they’d come from.
I’d been around Eric Nadel and Mike Daly a good bit, and they were predictably awesome.
But the highlight for me was meeting Roy Carlos Silver.
Roy’s place in the Texas Rangers lexicon revolves around his role in Josh Hamilton’s life and Matt Bush’s life and in the path that brought both former 1.1 draft picks to Texas. He’s a core character in Hamilton’s autobiography, and any feature article about Bush’s backstory includes him prominently as well.
After the autograph and Q&A portions had finished up, I got the chance to talk to Roy about baseball and not about baseball.
I can’t wait for the next chance to do that.
I didn’t know until Wednesday, when I checked in with him to make sure he had all the details he needed, that he was actually flying in Thursday afternoon from Florida just to be with all of us hours later.
And that he was flying back to Florida this morning.
I’d assumed before that, when it was suggested to me that he’d like to attend, that he’d be coming from Grapevine. Not Palm Harbor.
He didn’t know me, and I would guess that, aside from the folks he shared the head table with, he may have known half a dozen of the hundreds of others who were there last night.
I may be overshooting that.
When the event had ended, I mentioned to someone who does know Roy Silver well how blown away I was by meeting the man. That person said this about Roy:
“Loves life. Loves people.”
If you couldn’t make it last night, I would encourage you to meet Roy one day. You can thank him, if that’s your thing, or you can just talk, and listen. He will listen, too.
The former minor league outfielder-corner infielder-catcher-manager looks like this:
The 54-year-old New Yorker is probably in better shape than you are.
But what I’m convinced of is that Roy Silver can get you in better shape, with a few minutes of your time.
Not physical shape.
I want to thank all of you who came out to Bedford Ice House last night, and to Steve Richardson and his crew for hosting us.
I need to thank all of the guys again (plus Matt Bush’s girlfriend Claire) for taking time out of their off-season and their personal lives, especially around the holidays, to spend a couple hours with us. They didn’t need to do it.
I’m especially honored that Roy Silver, who’s probably boarding a plane any minute, felt that it would be a good idea to spend half a day in Texas to be with us, not to mention that it would be a useful thing to enter Josh Hamilton’s life and Matt Bush’s life, to the Rangers’ benefit and to our benefit and, epically, to the benefit of two super-elite athletes whose paths had veered off the track before they’d met the man themselves.