relationships

relationships
29 years coaching experience/ 7 years as a varsity boys' basketball coach, now assisting

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

What Day is it Anyway?


We've been together so long and have been busy so much and have had our sleep schedules so messed up, I really have to think hard what day it is.

We went to Eastleigh today.

Eastleigh is a poorer area where many, many Somali refugess have relocated and we ran a camp at a Christian center that has been continuously harassed by its neighbors.

As we rode in, you could tell we were in a different part of Nairobi, but I would not have wanted to be anywhere else.

The kids, as usual, are hungry to learn and to please.

The coaches, as usual, are eager to learn and connect.

Coach Sonny and his helpers are amazing. When you say "someone ought to do something about that" and you refused to get up and move, be assured that there are people in Nairobi doing just that.

Those men and women in Eastleigh, Omaruju, and Eastleigh are on the front lines of severe spiritual warfare and are making a difference.

They may not change their neighborhood, or their city, but they are changing and affecting many, many children who very well could grow up some day to change that place.

Why?

Because the kid above has a shirt on that says it all!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Basketball Camp....Continent 5



Today, I was able to work in a basketball camp on  my fifth continent on the continent of Africa.

It is amazing to see on each of the continents how little kids love to be coached, they have enthusiasm and enjoy the game of basketball.

Even in the USA, little ones (before they watch too much NBA and SportsCenter, they long for and love basketball camps.

The joy of the game of basketball is universal, at least in the USA, South America, Asia, Europe and Africa and at least in the places I have worked.

So many things the same, yet so many differences.

On a side note...I really am missing my favorite people on Earth: my wife and kids.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Day 8: Appreciate What You've Got

 
 
My oh my.
 
If you don't go through what we did today and it doesn't affect you, you probably have some real problems.
 
We visited Kibara which is the largest slum in Africa and visited Soweto Academy, a school started there to help save as many children as possible.
 
We played games with these kids and they were so happy.
 
One of the kids said they seem so happy with what they have do not care about what they don't have, and we are too busy worrying about what we don't have.
 
It's true.
 
We are called to care for the least of these and that is everyone.
 
This visit today, hopefully, motivates these people to continue doing good works. I know I need to be reminded from time to time.
 
After spending time with them, we headed to our game where we played and won a tough game against Strathmore University and some of their pro players.
 
We won and the women played at the same time also pulled out a victory.
 
After, we were able to share and spend time with the players which is the best part of the day, besides being around those little kids.
 
 
 
We started a busy week well today...let's roll on to the next thing!
 


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Security Here, Security There, Security Everywhere



We started the day off by attending church worship. It was amazing and you got to see an authentic worship, but something stood out as we entered the church area.

First, there was a gate to get into the church parking lot and security was at the gate. They checked your car and then you moved on to the parking lot.

Then right as you entered the church, security took a wand over you to make sure you weren't bringing anything harmful into the church.

Then we had regular church worship.

Later, we went to a couple of malls to pick up supplies and you had the same situation as well as at all the hotels.

Security at the gate checking your car and security at the entrance running a wand over you.

It made me wonder when will this happen to the United States?

I don't think it is a matter of if it will happen or not, but when....once we start to have consistent terrorist attacks or even the threat of them, I can see it happening.

Tomorrow, we head to Kibara, the largest slum in Africa...I'm sure I will have more to say then because we had our pre visit meeting tonight and was overwhelmed by what the adults are doing in Soweto Academy to help the situation there.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

We Made It



Well, after 25 hours of traveling, we made it to Nairobi, Kenya.

We have a busy schedule and wifi works only in the lounge, so I will do my best to keep up, but traveling the world really changes or reinforces how you see the world.

People of different colors, religions, and ethnic groups all just want the same things...to get where they're going.

It's all the other stuff that gets in the way.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Day 4: Prison, Rest, and Preparation


Today, we got up and did some of the same things, but today was game day.

Many of our players had never been to a correctional facility before, but today they got their first taste.

We scrimmaged a team from Warren Correctional in Lebanon, OH...the team were prisoners, the fans were prisoners, the clock keeper and the officials were prisoners.

They had their hands full and we prevailed 97-92, but it wasn't easy.

After the game, many of the guys stayed around and talked to people serving time there and what they found are people who are so thankful that someone would come in and spend time with them.

I know they've done some bad things and made bad decisions and caused a lot of pain, but they deserve respect as human beings.

We were able to spend the evening on Lake Shawnee and eat our last meal before flying out for Nairobi.

I have no idea what wifi will be like over there and I won't get a chance to tweet or blog until probably Saturday at the earliest.

This group of guys and coaching staff have grown considerably close in a short amount of time, let's hope we can do some good.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Day 3: Let's Roll Already


Lots of great practice time and lessons for the players and myself.

Prison game tomorrow and flying out Friday morning!

The players and coaching staff have been awesome, we shall see how it goes once we deal with some adversity.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Day 2 The Road to Eastern Africa



There is a women's team going with us, so 30 total.

Today, we had meetings and practiced for the first time...people are opening up because we all have one thing in common, our faith.

Last full day tomorrow before we head out.

I do like Xenia and wish I could get here to AIA more often.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Day 1...Sellersburg to Xenia


Today was the first day of an amazing trip that will grow me as a Christ follower and hopefully do some good in a small way for a small part of the world that isnt my home.

And today was one of the hardest days there is...saying gloodbye to my most favorite people on the planet.

It is hard to see your family cry as they leave.

There is a men's and women's team going to Kenya...it was good to meet everyone and to prepare for the upcoming weeks.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Let's See...



Using an old laptop and hopefully can blog from here over the next few weeks.

Pray for my family as separation is pretty bad.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


We Finished UP Another Camp Year




We recently finished up three weeks of basketball camp with our 2nd - 5th grades.

We had approximately 130 kids at different times.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Not Gonna Be Easy


I leave soon to head to Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia via Xenia, Ohio.

I will be in Ohio for a couple of days and then I won't see my family for almost three weeks.

I was talking today to our head coach to make sure my son keeps his mind off me as much as possible by letting him come to summer basketball practices and games and it really got to me.

As I type this, I can feel that uneasy feeling of "missing them" that I have had before.

I'm going to be able to send text messages at any time as well as pictures, but I will not like seeing them.

It hurts.

I'd almost rather have no contact with any of them while I'm gone...it'd be easier on me, but it won't for them.

As the excitement grows as I get closer to that time of leaving, I also get that reminder of the gnawing feeling of emptiness not having my favorite people within reach of a hug or kiss.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Ahhhh Teaching


The Social Studies Department at my school gives one social studies award to a senior each year.

That student had to take the most social studies classes of any other student and have the highest G.P.A.

Sometimes these awards are given to the same students over and over and they seem to lose their "flare".

But the other night, I was honored to give the award to our current recipient and her reaction made me remember why I teach...for the most part.

Kaylee W., thanks for your reaction and making me feel happy also.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Homeless in D.C.


Often times there are situations or images that catch my eye and the contradictions stand out.

It could be nurses that smoke outside of a hospital, it could be something like teachers when I was a kid and I saw them (gasp) outside of the classroom, or it could be a baby crying in my high school.

The picture I have included is from the Internet and not one I took because I find it hard as a tourist to photograph someone living on the streets.

In D.C., security has kept the homeless away from many of the tourist spots because who really wants "these people" to ruin our vacation (sigh), but once you get outside of that area, you will find more than you fair share of people who for some reason or another live on the streets.

There are many moral questions that arise about helping such people and in that case I always think of Matthew 25, but this part specifically in 25:37-40:

Then these righteous ones will reply, "Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?"

And the King will say, "I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!"

I realize that in ever increasing amount of times that I am "helping" someone who does not need the money. In D.C. I ran across a few homeless people who refused food, I saw one woman who had done her makeup, yet living on the street (I shouldn't judge here, but it was odd to see a homeless person with perfect makeup), and I saw people who wanted $1 or $2 just to get home, were given more than that and still kept asking for more money.

I realize that I will be taken advantage of, but I feel that I should help because of the above scripture, (I mean what if Jesus really is one of these and I look the other way?), and because I have been given so much and blessed beyond measure.

Should I not give something back?

Should I not attempt to help someone who has had much different life experiences both bad and good, and have at some point reached the realization that this is all that they can do?

When told by someone that they never give to those in "need" because they know so many are scamming us, my response is that whether I give or not is between me and God and what they do with the money and whether they really need it or not is between them and God.

It is not my job to judge them.

It is my pleasure to try and help them.

But back to the picture.

How odd is it that in a city of millionaire outsiders that there are so many struggling in some way?

How odd is it that in the city that is to solve the problems of our country, they can't solve the problems of their own city?

How odd is that a government that is trillions of dollars in debt, those government workers continue to live lavish lifestyles (relatively speaking) and people who just have nothing live day to day?

How odd is that in a city that represents American Idealism there is image after image of where we have failed?

And how dare I who lives in a place where there is no visible homeless on a day to day basis seem to have all the answers?

I don't, but I know as I have grown in my faith that I see how bad many people have it and I want to do a little bit to help.

It won't be enough, but it will be for that day...that moment.

And even in my hypocrisy where I waste too much and could help so much more, I won't look away from the problems of the world.

And even when I feel that I am drowning in quicksand in trying to help, I will not stop trying to make a difference.

I pray for our hearts to not only be broken, but to do something about that broken heart.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Selfish or Nah?


I love to travel.

I love to see new places.

I love to go and do things in new places.

And I absolutely love doing it with my family involved.

But...

My family is not always involved and I wonder if I am selfish for having these experiences.

I don't feel selfish because my wife disapproves, but because I miss them, and worse yet, they miss me.

So am I selfish?

Probably, but I try to be less selfish while away by attempting to do good things while gone.

Do I always?

Nope.

But I am always looking and trying to make the separation worthwhile.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sweet Pic


Washington D.C. and Striving for the Ideal Reality



Washington D.C. is the American ideal.

From the history of the city, to the monuments, to the history of the country, to the video they show you in the Capitol about our government, it represents all that is good with our government and country.

But it is the ideal.

I have tried hard for many years to not be cynical when it comes to American ideals, but it is hard as I have seen many political issues become what's good for the individual political party and not what's good for the country.

If you speak to many people who have worked in Washington for just a short amount of time, it is sad to hear the idealism has dulled or even disappeared.

But the thing is this, the more we know the more cynical we will get, and it has always been that way.

The country has been political since the beginning with Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton fighting over policy. There has been mud slinging, immoral activity and less than ideal behavior by many of our national politicians since before our freedom as a country and it will continue long after the US is gone. We've had presidents be impeached, resign and murdered and yet we continue to strive on towards what we should become.


But Washington D.C. is the American ideal.

It's what we strive to be and fail every single day.

It's what shows us what working together can accomplish even though there was often division that had to be overcome to get that "united" item finished.

It's what we, as Americans, look at and fills us with patriotism despite our failures as a country.

Washington D.C. is the American ideal and ideals are hard to attain, but they exist so that we continue to strive for them.

We must strive for them through our cynical realism and even when people are telling us "no" and fighting against us whether from abroad or within this country.

If you have never been to our nation's Capitol, go.

It will remind you of what we could be and that we must fight to continue taking steps towards that ideal reality.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Best Athlete in our Family

My wife and I were pretty good athletes in our day and our son is really good at many, but watching Maddie, well, don't tell my son, but I believe she's the most athletic person in the family. Competitive cheer, softball, basketball, gymnastics, volleyball, golf, soccer, and now track and field...she's not bad at any of them.


Silver Creek Senior Trip to D.C. 2017


I didn't take a laptop computer with me on this trip and wasn't able to blog at the time, but will write some articles over the next few days about my/our experiences for this year's version of the senior trip.

I realize that some people cannot afford to go on this trip (I think pretty cheap especially everything that the kids get to do), have other things going on, or just think they do not want to spend time with some of the kids going. But I truly believe that the memories and bonding that go on during this one week away from school far outweighs the negatives. Again, I realize that some cannot make it, but it should be a high priority for any junior that thinks they might want to go.

The senior trip occurs so late in the school year for my school that there really is a sense of "this is it" for many of them. It is such an over powering double feeling at the end of the trip that the trip is over, but so is the school year and ultimately...their secondary school experience.

The 90+ students that go on this trip share a common story that the others will miss out on.

It is emotional for me as well to witness this happen.

I can feel the emotion of some of them as they come face to face with the "real" world they've been preached to for so much of their young adult life. They realize that many of them will go their separate ways and they may not see any of their classmates again, or for a long time. And I think some of them even realize that they are going to miss their teachers. We are the ones fighting every day for them and in the cruel "real" world, there will be far fewer doing that for them.

I enjoy going on this trip to watch the bonding, to watch the laughs, watch the pictures being taken, and to try and make it a more fun trip for them by being a little...umm goofy at times.

So good luck class of 2017, you got to spend a week with people you will love forever in one of the world's greatest cities...Washington D.C.

Never forget this moment from this trip and do everything you can for the rest of your life to continue creating these moments for you and those you love.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Three Hunter Men(ish)

My 72 year old father and me (47) then me with my son (8).



Monday, April 10, 2017

Everyone is Busy

I will put our family's schedule up against anyone...and I am not bragging.

I wish we had more time to chill out, but until then...we're gonna have fun.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hoops 4 Rescue


If money were not an issue, I would start a sports ministry with an heavy emphasis on basketball starting out, but maybe even baseball.

What I would like to do is go to inner cities or other poorer places and put on "free" basketball clinics for one day or multiple days.

I would have volunteers work, and I would make sure that each child got a t-shirt and maybe a basketball.

My goal would be to find a corporate sponsor who would donate up to $2,000 to make the camp free for the children involved.

That total would be hopefully no more than $500.

The other $1,500 would be donated to a human/sex trafficking group and that total is what it costs to free one person from that horrendous way of life. We would base the camp on Proverbs 24:11 "Rescue those being taken off to death, and save those stumbling toward slaughter".

It would:
1. Give back to communities who may not be able to afford a basketball camp.
2. Each child would leave with a shirt and a ball with the logo of the sports ministry and the corporate sponsors ad along with which trafficking organization we would donate to.
3. Corporations in the area would have a tax write off as well as good will in an area they may not always have it.
4. We would spread the Gospel, as it would be well known that we are not just a character organization, but a Christ centered.

And Volleyball...and Cheer...and....



Friday, March 17, 2017

Thanks Coach Crean, I Wish You Well


Yesterday, as news of Coach Tom Crean being removed as the Indiana University basketball coach, many emotions went through my mind.

First, and foremost was remorse.

Remorse that it had gotten to this point in his relationship with the university and worse yet, the fan base.

Remorse for him.

Remorse for his family.

And remorse in that I may not be able to see and speak to him as often.

Tom Crean, forget the coach part, is a very good man.

A good man who used his spotlight to help a student whose car was stuck in a snow bank; who allowed me to take a high school student who is an IU fan and going blind to attend a game; who contacted me after the tornado that destroyed the school I taught at; who contacted numerous people dealing with traumatic events; who befriended many people who were sick and dying; and who believed that his job was much bigger than coaching basketball.

He is a man who I could start typing about the great things I know he did and what I heard he did and wouldn't end anytime soon.

The remorse I feel is for a man who was fired (never an easy thing to deal with) and his family who wants to be supportive, but may not be able to help other than to vent anger.

Sure, the amount of money he has been paid over the last nine years will soften the blow, but it still hurts and I hate that for him.

But I also realized that this meant a new beginning for both IU basketball and Coach Crean. An unfortunate separation that, in all honesty, needed to happen for all parties involved.

And often times a new beginning is the best thing that can happen to us. Whether they be voluntary or forced upon us a new page, a new view can refresh us.

Coach Crean will land on his feet and probably score a "10" in doing so.

His personality, contacts, knowledge, charisma, empathy, sympathy, and experience are just a few things that will land him where he desires eventually. He understands his purpose in coaching this silly game of basketball

IU basketball may be better off or worse with this separating of the ways, that is yet to be seen, but Coach Crean will be better off either soon or eventually. He can't not be because of the type of human being he is.

Finally, I just want to say "thank you" to Coach Crean. The program he inherited was awful, just awful and through his sheer will and the help of his assistants like Tim Buckley, they were able to bring IU back to national prominence even if irregularly.

For that IU fans owe him a huge, huge show of appreciation.

I will miss Coach Crean because I am a fan, but I will miss Tom Crean even more. Tom Crean touched more people in a positive way often out of sight than can be written in one small blog entry.

I just hope that he ends up somewhere close, or somewhere that I visit regularly so that I may stay in touch with Tom Crean and still watch his practices and know that he's still making a positive impact both on and off the basketball court.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Under the Radar No More

(picture from News and Tribune Sports)
A couple years ago, I wrote an article about a friend of mine at a local high school you can find it HERE.

Coach Jon May at New Washington H.S. hadn't had the kind of success that he deserved compared to the amount of time that he and his staff had put in. I mean, they scout you to the point your guys can't take a step without them calling it out.

Nothing against NW, but the talent level hadn't been to a competitive level for their class during his tenure and even the two previous coaches. I had heard some negatives (they exist when you coach) about him and some wondering out loud if they should go in a different direction which motivated me to write that article. It appeared in our local paper as I was writing weekly for them at the time.

My biggest argument was when he had talent that was equitable, he would show what he could really do.

And man oh man has he done that.

This group of seniors that he has playing for him this year have won their first sectional and regional titles in sixteen years. To watch them play is truly watching an extension of the coaching staff and Coach May.

All of the things he has taught them, they are believing, doing and executing. There is no perceived issue among any of the players or between the players and staff. He has his team currently playing in a way where he can sit and enjoy because they are playing at a high level. He has done all of the hard work, they have listened, and they are executing.

This weekend they play in the semi-state, one game from the state finals and whether they win or not will not change my opinion about Coach May.

I said it before and I will say it now.

I would have zero hesitation allowing my children to play for him because he knows what he is doing basketball wise and because he is a class act human being.

Jim Matthews used to say that winning championships justifies what you're doing as a coach and Coach May has finally gotten that justification.

The great thing is that he didn't need them to justify anything, and despite overwhelming support from many in his hometown, maybe now some of the naysayers will realize how lucky they are to have him representing their town and school.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It's Our Fault; Parents That Is


As parents in the 21st century, have we become enablers of our children?

I think this is something that has gone on for a long time because I can remember instances when I was younger in the early 1980s and maybe even earlier, but has it gotten worse?

We see and read about the "snowflake" generation and wonder where our country is headed, but shouldn't we look backwards? Whose fault is it that we are witnessing this behavior?

As a coach/teacher I have seen many situations of enabling. I've seen many situations that I have been attacked for pointing out the situation by a parent because they believe (or refuse to see) that their child may not be perfect and I ended up being right in the future. I have yet to receive an apology from some of these parents, but it is what it is.

Before I was a parent, I could not understand where these people were coming from, now with children, I do understand it.

We don't want our children to endure hardships.

Yet, isn't that the way we've all learned? Isn't it actually the best way to learn?

I get it though.

I have watched as my child has been disciplined by coaches, treated in ways that I think unfairly compared to the other players and I go into defensive mode.

It is then that I try to remember all of the experiences I have seen or been involved in as a coach/parent or my wife sets me straight.

It is good for my son and daughter to endure "hardships" (I mean they aren't starving, homeless, or unclothed, or unloved) when they are younger because they will face them as adults. More serious than anything they will see as children. And we are not talking about the kind of hardships that will mentally challenge them forever and, really, who cares if it does? It is isn't any type of abuse.

And that's why we sit where we do today with an ever growing group of spoiled children/young adults.

They can't handle someone who disagrees with them so they shut down, or worse yet, attempt to shut down the person they disagree with. If disagreement cannot be stopped, we give law students coloring books, safe spaces and excuses for their behavior which enables it further.

I'm not just pointing this out about society today in general, I, specifically, have caught myself doing it to my children and I worry I am not preparing them for real life.

How tough will they be?

Will they cower because someone disagrees with them?

Will they fight for what they believe in?

Or will I have spoiled them so much that they will march in the streets for the perceived lack of rights (we can always do better) in a country that is the 1% when dealing with freedoms and monetary success?

I hope not.

And I will continue to examine my actions and what I shelter them from...

But it ain't easy; not by a long shot.


Monday, March 13, 2017

You Can Help Me on My Mission Trip to Kenya (and a tax write off for you)


I have a mission account that I started every pay period. Money comes out and withdraws immediately into that account. Any extra money goes there also.

I'm headed to Kenya this summer and I have already paid for over 3/4 of it from my own money which will end up being a tax write off for this year.

If you'd like to help me go with Athletes in Action this summer, you can go to CLICK HERE by entering my account number 5634026 in the "Give A Gift" box. The money you donate will be tax deductible for you.

Sports ministry is something I love to do and would appreciate any help I can get.

I really do appreciate your consideration and if not financially, I would appreciate your prayers and good thoughts.






To Forgive or Not To Forgive


If you are a believer of Jesus, then you consider yourself a Christian.

By doing so, you have to believe that Jesus was God, came to earth and was crucified for our transgressions.

You believe that Jesus died for your sins.

You believe that Jesus died for our sins.

You believe that Jesus died for all of our sins.

He died for our lies.

Our thefts.

Our murders.

Our gossip.

Our bad thoughts.

For those who have done heinous crimes like genocide, molestation, rape, and ever other single evil and most vile sins.

Just repent.

You must ask for forgiveness and it will be done.

Then how can we not show that same grace, that same forgiveness (not acceptance or even regaining a friendship) or much smaller transgressions done to us?

We can't not.

We must forgive.

If not, we are struggling in living the life that Jesus did.

And that's what we're striving for.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Proverbs 24:11


"Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter."

I'm pro-life.

From conception to death, I'm pro-life.

It isn't always easy, but standing for something usually isn't.

I could pick an anti-abortion, pro-adoption, pro-refugee idea to fight for.

I could minister to those in prisons, I could minister to those drug addicted.

But human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking of youth, is where I take my stand.

Children are the most pure form of victims in this world. Most adults are where they are because of decisions they've made and possibly it is because of terrible childhoods, but a child's circumstance is more than always is because of an adult.

And what's the worst thing that can be done to a child?

Being led into sex trafficking.

Where children are raped up to 30 times a day to help pay the bills at home or they have been bought and are now making money for the person who bought them.

Men, overwhelmingly, are the ones who perpetrate this sick business, so I feel both a responsibility to help save children and to educate men.

Men, stop having sex with children! If you do that, the sex trafficking industry disappears.

Please consider giving, volunteering, or fighting for children though The Exodus Road, Destiny Rescue, A21 and many other groups fighting this scourge.

I'm constantly looking for ways I can help to make a difference with this evil, vile thing and I challenge you to do so also.












Thursday, March 9, 2017

That One Time When Pete Rose Met Perry Hunter

Last night, March 8, a date which will live forever in my mind...

This summer, I am going to Kenya with Athletes in Action. The director of the trip, James Bolin, wanted to meet up and get to know each other before we went on a two week trip to Africa. Through texting, I came up with a place sort of in the middle of where I live and Xenia, OH where he lives.

I picked a Cracker Barrel at exit 182, off I-71/75.

I got there early and James had beaten me there and I didn't have to walk him through how to get to where we were meeting, two huge pluses (look, I'm 47, set in my ways, but much more patient than in the past, but we hit it off well immediately).

About 45 minutes into our meeting, I was talking and I had to double take...it was Pete Rose...in this Cracker Barrel...in Florence, Kentucky.

You know Pete Rose...

Pete Rose the all-time hit king.

Pete Rose, my all-time favorite player.

Pete Rose, the guy I tried to model how I played any sport ever.

Pete freaking Rose, the guy who just transformed 47 year old Perry into 9 year old Perry.

To say that the meeting with James kind of deteriorated from there would be a nice way of putting it. I couldn't focus on what he was saying, I don't think I could feel my legs, and I tried hard not to stare at Charlie Hustle.

I mean, Pete Rose is why I sprinted out walks, he is why I slid head first, he's why I took out shortstops breaking up double plays, I love, loved how he played.

As I watched how people interacted with him, and more importantly, how he interacted with the people there, it didn't make me feel overly confident to speak to him, but I had to speak to him, I just had to. But if he were mean to me (little kid thinking there), it could ruin my entire childhood.

First a guy took a picture from the side, and Pete did not like that at all. The second guy walked up to him and he barely acknowledged him. I'm not trying to take up for Pete, but it could get old if people don't treat you like a person.

But I still had to say something.

I've found that when you talk to famous people, if you talk to them as a person and you bring up something that is a little different from what they usually hear, they seem to be more receptive. Or maybe I just come off as a dolt and they feel sorry for me, but here's how it went.

I walked up and he had his head down, I said "Mr. Rose, I can't pass up this opportunity, but I wanted you to know that for my entire baseball playing career, I sprinted out walks" (Pete was famous for this, drawing a walk and sprinting to first). As I was saying this, he looked up and actually gave a little laugh. I finished with this "and when people asked me why I did that, I said because Pete Rose did". And with that, he kind of laughed and said "That's nice".

Childhood made!

I gave a little awkward wave, turned around and left.

James told me it must have gone well because he could see that he smiled and laughed.

As we were checking out, a woman put her hand on my shoulder and said "That was very nice what you said to him" which reinforced that I thought it went well.

Now little kid Perry thinks that he will remember me...who knows, but it was nice to feel like a little kid again if even for a little while.

No, I didn't get or ask for a picture or an autograph, I didn't want to be like every other person that approaches him, so I did what any respectful fan would do; I took a stalker photo without him knowing.



And for you people who for some ungodly reason don't know who Pete Rose is...watch this:

Click to the right: Pete Rose: Shoot to Thrill