bigfoot sighting

The first in-person autograph of spring helps take the sting out of winter better than a mug of hot chocolate. Former Major Leaguer Tim Stoddard rolled into the Duke City this past weekend with the Northwestern Wildcats to take on the University of New Mexico Lobos in a four-game series over a 45-hour period. Having spent some 13 seasons in the Show playing for the White Sox, Orioles, Cubs, Padres and the American League team from New York, Stoddard now serves as the Wildcats pitching coach with an additional 15 seasons of that experience under his belt.

What luck that I have an opportunity to meet a former member of the Orioles, my favorite childhood team, in person! Such great fortune that I will likely have an opportunity to ask him about his most memorable experiences from the 1979 and 1983 World Series, right?

Hoping to meet “Bigfoot” in the best possible mood, I opted to wait for a better opportunity after the Wildcats dropped the first game of the series to the Lobos by a score of 11 to 6 on Friday evening. Unfortunately, sticking with that strategy, I ended up waiting until the end of the four-game sweep to introduce myself. After having watched his young pitching staff yield 54 runs (46 earned) and 7 homers over 32 innings, it was obvious that Tim wasn’t in a mood to chat about baseball or the 1983 World Series. I didn’t even have the nerve to ask the 6’7” Stoddard if he has any new motion picture offers in the works given that his hurlers had coughed up more earned runs and long balls in less than two full days than he had allowed over 42 appearances during the final two years of his professional playing career. Instead, I merely wished him a good trip to Kansas as he signed his 1984 Topps card (no. 106).


You could have heard a Sharpie drop as Stoddard signed his 1986 Topps card (no. 558) for my collection.


Normally if a player has a particularly bad day, I won’t ask for an autograph. I may have to consider revising my strategy and extending a similar plan to coaches and managers in situations like this.

– Kris

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