"“We will have memories that will last forever with my son out of this. He’ll be 50 one day and we’ll be talking about this visit to Cooperstown.”–Raul Ibanez"
“…and if he’s like me he’ll probably still be trying to play professional baseball, so hopefully it’ll be a good pre game pep talk for him,” Raul continued.
When Raul walks into a room, I imagine he’s greeted by the same Rauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul chants that he gets when he walks up to the plate. Therefore, a trip with a bunch of kids is probably one of the most grating experiences he can have.
And yet, there he was recently, leading a troop of young children and parents into the Hall of Fame for no other reason than he is a nice guy.
My extended family is pretty grown up and my friends are too terrified of commitment for there to be any 11-year-olds running around. So the closest one I could find was me from over a decade ago. From what I can recall about me, the things I wanted most in the world were Redwall books, LEGO, and an understanding of what girls are… doing. I mean just what the hell are they doing? Do they want to read Redwall later? Ask them.
I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to lead 40 of me into an institution celebrating the high points of baseball history. Expensive stuff out on display or behind one pitifully underwhelming sheet of glass? Do you know how easy it is for a demented preteen to throw himself through one of those? He doesn’t even have to concentrate that hard, or do it on purpose, if he’s horrendously awkward enough.
Not only did Raul, his son, and his travel baseball team get to defy the odds and have a disaster-free trip to the Hall, but through the “Extra Innings Overnight” Program, they got to sleep over. And since everybody’s parents were already there, there weren’t any panicked calls home in the middle of the night for kids to come get picked up. Which is good because the entrance fees are only going up.