As we walked, his handler dropped back and it was just him and me. I tried to put a few words together to thank him for what he'd given me as a kid. But, as you can imagine, my words were sloppy and stuttered. I was about as articulate as I might have been as a 10-year-old. I bet he gets that a lot.
But he put an arm around my shoulder and talked about how much he'd enjoyed playing, how much he loved the game and the fans.
The greatest part was that he actually meant it. He seemed humbled by my offer of thanks, somewhat reluctant to accept any sort of "hero" status (I didn't use that word), and fully comprehending the impact he'd had on me (and by extension, many, many others -- again, I'm sure he gets this a lot).
The next day, when he was signing autographs in the concourse, I got in the already-long line just as his signing time began, and I was still about 15 people back when his allotted time ended. But the line behind me stretched off into the distance. And so Harmon just plain kept on signing.
I got my picture signed, and a bunch of people who had been behind me in the line also got their stuff signed.
Even after however many hours (years) he'd been doing it, he was cheerful and gracious.
One of the perks of working on this site is that I get to talk to a lot of people about behind-the-scenes baseball stuff. I can tell you that the admiration for Harmon is genuine and widespread. He is considered one of the all-time great players, one of the all-time great ambassadors for the game, and one of the all-time great teammates and team leaders. He's someone who recognizes that fame was a byproduct of doing what he loved, and that it came with responsibility.
He's lived up to that responsibility many times over.
I have much more from this amazing weekend coming, of course. But if you ever wonder about the name of this site, it's also another name for my favorite player.
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This page was last modified on April 5, 2010.
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Two train stations
Ahh. Lunch in the admin building...
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
A sampling of seats at Fenway Park
The renderings and concept model differ here. MOJO thinks this is the perfect place for a party deck. Dave St. Peter seemed to agree!
Earl Santee, principle architect for HOK Sport, presents some concepts while Mike Opat listens
Some of your fellow BPMers at a game in May of 2010 (we had almost the whole section)
The transit corner entrance (Photo by Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune)
Desolate. Dirty. Mysterious. Expensive. Unlikely.
Another piece of the neighborhood puzzle: the Northstar platform.
No admittance -- yet! Note that you can see the seating bolts which are in place already.
The circulation ramp on Fifth Street is shaping up very quickly.
Looking up toward Sixth Street.
Here you can see the real beauty of the Seventh Street side, and get a solid sense of why the overall design really works. The building's purpose is clearly visible, there are numerous connections from inside to outside, scale is nicely mitigated, the stone is attractively used, materials are pleasantly mixed and truly complementary. It's just a winner in so many ways.
A portrait of the 573 Club.
The reverse angle shows that the signage will only partially obscure views from the top of the ramp. The wall is pretty high up there, so you'll need something to stand on, but it appears that this is one of the so-called "knotholes".
TC meets the Mayor (Photo by Jeff Ewer)
Crosswalk taking shape.
Waiting for a train. Reading on the promenade. How urbane.
The spruced up triangle really doesn't show much connection with the ballpark.
The Ballpark Wall! (really stunning)
This is the entrance behind home plate (not visible in the renderings which have been released). It shows that the upper deck is set back from the facade -- a very good thing if it remains in the final design.
Write your own caption. (Photo by Jeff Ewer)
Is it possible to take a bad picture of this building?
Large staircases, a staple of recent Populous (nee HOK) projects, are all over the place.
"Hey, Ma, it says here we go in at gate 34. Must be all the way around on the other side!" Seriously, though, this is a really inspired idea.
Click to enlarge
Who Owns What (Click for larger version. Source: Ballpark Authority)