Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Cast and Crew: Louie (and Patty)

Louie was another great character in my baseball past. He was one of a handful of people that attended both A's and Giants games with me. I first met Louie because he was sitting with John and Mac just after I got to know them. Patty was his friend who attended occasionally with him, also at both A's and Giants games. I could never tell if they were just friends or had some kind of extra relationship going. Nevertheless, Patty was always more than welcome. I knew Louie from the mid 80's to the early 90's. He usually wore a faded Mets hat, and never shied away from making fun of John and Mac, especially John.

Louie had a wonderful sense of humor. It was often dry and subtle, but he made the dryness quite wet sometimes. He had a unique job. He did room service at the St. Francis hotel in downtown San Francisco, and later on he became room service manager. The same hotel where 10 of the 11 visiting National League teams stayed, the Dodgers being the exception. He had a million stories of delivering something to a room, only to find out that it was a ballplayer. He didn't know who it was until they opened the door. Once he delivered a six pack to a room, and Braves pitcher Terry Forster opened the door. "Hey, aren't you pitching tonight?" asked Louie. "Hey, I gotta get ready!" was the response. He knew many of the players by sight because he was such a fan.

Louie was particularly good at turning a conversation funny, making each subsequent statement slightly more goofy, until we had some kind of dry humor slapstick. An example would be one of the number of occasions we would be seriously talking about potential trades that the A's and Giants might make. We then proposed trades between the teams, like Jose Canseco for Will Clark and a player to be named later. Then one of us would propose an A's/Giants trade of obscure bullpen personnel as something funny. Then it would degrade into "how about Roger Craig for Tony LaRussa?" Then maybe, "JumboTron for Diamond Vision" then "Candlestick for the Coliseum", then "Sarge [head security guard in the A's bleachers] for Bernice [head usherette at the 'Stick]" then certain grounds crew members, then bullpen catchers for baseball cards, parking lot attendants and beer vendors, even weirdo fans. We would laugh for innings.

Louie: Bleacher bum.

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