My Twins miracle and a forced week off?

Wednesday was the second-ever game played in Target field. When the game started at 12:30pm, I was sitting in my office, preparing some documents for a board meeting. At 12:35pm, my boss poked his head in my office and said with a boyish giddiness, “Dan, we’re going to a Twins game!”
A donor had given four tickets a friend of ours, and so we grabbed a couple of lucky Hope students and waltzed out the door. Here’s me making a very strange face and snapping a picture of myself at Target Field.
Dan at Target Field
It wasn’t the most interesting game, but I can always say that I was at the first ever regular season Twins loss at Target Field (they lost 6-3).
Changing topics, tomorrow morning my son Charlie and I will be flying to Birmingham, AL to spend the week with family. For the last few days I have been e-mailing various high school baseball coaches in the Birmingham area–trying to find a team to pitch to a couple of times. Here’s what I’ve been saying:

My name is Dan Olson, and I’m a 32-year old lefthanded pitcher who is trying out for the St. Paul Saints on Thursday, April 29 (a semi-pro team here St. Paul, Minnesota). I’ll be spending the week of April 19-23 with my in-laws in Birmingham, and I was told you have one of the best high school teams in Alabama. Would you be willing to have me come pitch to the Vestavia varsity team on any two days next week? I see you’re prepping for games on Friday and Saturday, April 24-25. Let me know!

So far, I’ve had no luck. Two coaches have responded politely turning me down. This is my favorite response.

Dan, I truly appreciate you asking me, and I honestly wish that I could take you up on such a great offer. However, unfortunately, due to past incidents and liability issues, our Athletic Department/BOE will not allow us to use outside help unless they go through our state’s volunteer qualifications in addition to CPR/1st Aid. So, unfortunately I will not be able to take you up on this opportunity. Thank you for understanding, and good luck with your tryout.

Since getting this e-mail yesterday, I still can’t fathom what “past incidents” with a baseball volunteer would have led to this sort of draconian background check and CPR/1st Aide training. I’m glad that my alma mater hasn’t had such bad luck with baseball volunteers–or I’d still be stuck throwing baseballs into a net. Or maybe–after their experience with me–M.A.’s coach may use the same sort of excuse.

But I still do hope to find a way to pitch a bit next week. We’ll see how it goes.


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