Bill Bray is Pretty Awesome, and Other Thoughts About the Marvin Miller Memorial

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What a sight. I mean, how often do you get to take a photo of people taking a photo of all these major leaguers?

I had the luck of attending the Marvin Miller Memorial in New York City on Monday night. It was a great experience, getting a chance to watch some of the most talented players of the 60s through 80s pay homage to their great labor leader. I got a chance to share my feelings about the late great Mr. Miller as well, but the person on the other end of the bathroom mirror kept talking and wasn’t really paying attention to me. Also the hand dryer kept interrupting. Very rude.

After the players spoke a reception took place, during which I was able to introduce myself to a number of players and personnel who attended the event. My thoughts about my encounters after the break.

Let me repeat, Bill Bray is pretty awesome. Lucky for me, one of the 5 active players to attend happened to be Bray, a National. I approached him, using this blog as an opening and we got to talking. We talked about all sorts of great things in Nationals history from RFK Stadium to Dmitri Young, both of which began to crumble at the foundation towards the end of their Nationals lives.

Bill mentioned how excited he was to be coming back to Washington, to which I replied with similar excitement. What was I going to do, disagree with a baseball player? That wouldn’t make me a very good starstruck pushover, now would it? But after talking to Bill I really do hope he gets a spot in the Nationals bullpen this upcoming season. He was a delight to talk to, and even invited me to get his attention and speak with him the first time I see a Nationals game this season. I hope I can get his attention somewhat easily. I might blend in too much with my 20’x30′ neon-bordered “I’m Gay for Bray” sign. Better think of more flashy ideas.

In other news, Rick Helling is also pretty awesome. There is nothing more nostalgic for me than thinking about 90s baseball players. There is also nothing more hilarious for me than imagining these 90s players in funny situations, like sitcoms or holding political office. So you can understand why my mind was blown when Rick Helling semi-jokingly offered to serve as a voice actor if I ever made a cartoon. Now I want to be a television writer, so creating a cartoon down the line is not out of the question. But now it has become the only answer to the question since Rick Helling is in the mix.

Rick, it’s my promise to you that you will be the first person I contact to star in my upcoming cartoon, “Helling’s Spellings,” an educational Nicktoon that caters to pre-K children learning how to spell. Rick plays a cartoon version of himself who teaches kids how to spell fastball, curveball, Cookie Rojas, and other baseball terminology.

While Bill and Rick were the two fantastic conversations that I had, I got to meet a number of other big names such as Joe Morgan, Dave Winfield, Keith Hernandez, Rusty Staub, Tony Clark, Don Fehr, Michael Weiner, and Micah Owings. It was an awesome experience, and I’d love to tell you more, but I must be off. I have to write episode one of “Helling’s Spellings.” It’ll focus on the easy words, like grounder, Grudzielanek and Mientkiewicz.

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