Dirt gets dug!
It turns out that Fenway dirt isn’t dirt at all. In the infield, it’s a substance called “Turface,” a brick-red clay material that Henry had ordered to match the color of the crushed brick that makes up the warning track in the outfield. I brought this up at a meeting, and we landed on the idea of giving away little plastic bags of the stuff, labeling it authentic Fenway Park infield dirt. “Dirt,” Lucchino said, twisting up his face. “We’re going to give our fans bags of dirt?” His reaction seemed to sink the notion right there. But on the next trip, to New Hampshire, we brought along about 100 little bags of the dirt — which of course had never been closer to the Fenway infield than the dugout. But that didn’t matter. The bags disappeared the instant they were shown off to the admiring crowd.
Players get played!
I said something about how if he [Henry] was socializing with Playboy Playmates, keeping him out of the press was going to be problematic. He simply scoffed and insisted he’d never dated a Playmate.
Nomah’s a space cadet!
I’ll never forget the time, at some point after the space shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003, that NASA arranged for two female astronauts to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Sox home game and deliver a brief tribute to their fallen colleagues… I didn’t normally mingle with the players, so it was a bit of a thrill to be sitting wedged among Nomar Garciaparra, Tim Wakefield, and other stars. Nomar curiously watched my interaction with the two women, who were dressed in their bright-blue flight suits, and finally nudged me and asked who they were. I explained that they were astronauts. “Hey,” Nomar replied, “I saw this show on Fox that said we never really went to the moon. The whole thing was faked. Can I talk to her about that?”
“Sure,” I said, eager to witness this conversation.
Coleman diplomatically handled the inquiry from Nomar. “I’ve heard about that,” she said, “but it would have to be an enormous conspiracy.”
“Did you see the show?” he quickly rejoined. “It was really convincing…. I don’t know.”
She hadn’t seen the show and looked plaintively at me as other players began to join the conversation. “Hey,” I said, trying to change the subject. “Cady is going to spend six months on the International Space Station. Talk about training for the big show.”
Intrigued, Nomar asked about the size of the space station. “It’s really big,” Coleman said.
“Is it as big as Fenway Park?” Nomar asked.
“No, not that big,” Coleman replied. Then she started looking around for ways to illustrate the dimensions of the orbiting vehicle.“How far is it from home plate to first base?” she finally asked. About six players yelled in unison: “Ninety feet.”
“It’s about that size,” she told them.
“That’s not big,” Nomar said. “That’s small.”
Me oh Mia!
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