It’s 11:32am on Wednesday April 12th 2017. “ALLOW ME TO REINTRODUCE MYSELF! MY NAME IS” not Jay-Z… it’s Tim Dillard. And this is my fifth entry for MLB Trade Rumors. The check cleared! So I’m back, chronologically writing down all my baseball thoughts.
11:34am I’m a sidearm relief pitcher for the minor league Colorado Springs Sky Sox baseball team. A few nights ago we bused from The Springs to Denver, then flew on a United Airlines commercial plane to Memphis, Tennessee. This is where we will start a four game stint against the Memphis Redbirds, the St. Louis Cardinals class Triple-A affiliate.
11:37am During the flight out here, our plane experienced some above average turbulence. Like on a scale from one to ten, this turbulencity was probably a six and a half or maybe seven. I mean, personally I really don’t mind flying. But for some reason, a few of my teammates just seem to be uncomfortable in a… 450-ton pressurized man-made metal machine screaming through the sky at 500 knots while 7 miles up in the atmosphere!
11:40am But it was fine. AND it reminded me of another eventful road trip I once had!
11:41am Back in 2007, I was on a really turbulent team flight with current Braves knuckleballer and former Cy Young Award winning pitcher R.A. Dickey. (name drop: successful) We sat together a lot that year… I think it goes alphabetically. Anyway, on this particular flight, if your seatbelt wasn’t buckled, you were hitting the ceiling! Or the seat in front of you! Or the person sitting beside you. Or body-slapping the window! (it was at least an EIGHT on the bumpy scale)
11:45am Well… after several minutes of gripping the armrests as hard as I could, trying to stay calm, and hearing the shrieks from the other scared passengers, my friend R.A. Dickey looked up at me. And I looked up at him, and I was staring straight into his eyes when he opened his beardy mouth and yelled, “Dilly! It’s like we’re riding on a Dickey Knuckleball right now!”
11:50am Pretty sure I laughed AFTER we landed.
11:50am The hotel maid may have just knocked on my door.
11:53am Yeah it was the maid. I thought I put the “Do Not Disturb” sign out, but it was one of those two-sided signs. The other side says “Please Service My Room, Thank You!” Crap. Just told her I’d be out in thirty minutes.
11:54am Okay, so where was I… oh yes “Dilly!”
11:55am You know, every road trip has a story or something meaningful happen if you look hard enough. Like in 2006, when our team bus slammed into a giant wood utility poll that had fallen off the back of a semi at 2:30am. Or in 2013, when I had to jump onto the back of a moving pickup truck to catch a ferry back to the mainland after playing a baseball game on some island in Mexico.
11:59am Actually, before we left on this current road trip, a teammate brought two boxes of delicious donuts into the clubhouse. That was pretty special. BUT… there are only two reasons why a player would think to bring community donuts into the clubhouse: Either they just want to be a good and thoughtful teammate, OR… they can read MINDS! Either way, I’m keeping my eye on you Eric Sogard, but maybe… you already knew that. (name drop: numero dos)
12:04pm Dang. Another knock. This hotel maid really wants to clean this room.
12:06pm Something weird about myself: I’ve kept every key card from every hotel I’ve stayed at my entire career dating back to 2003. The only key I didn’t keep was a real key, like a real metal key, from a motel in Montana. Because the fee for taking or losing that real key was $25.
12:09pm Not to mention all the “free” hotel pens I’ve acquired over the years. I remember in 2008 I was at my house looking for a pen. I looked in every drawer, basket, bag, purse, and glove compartment. Didn’t even see a stupid pencil. And after searching for a long time, I realized that my wife and I did not have a single writing utensil in the entire house. So this frustration gave birth. And shouted, “NEVER AGAIN!” So now I’m proud to be the “owner” of over 4oo hotel pens!
12:09pm I also keep movie ticket stubs. I have over 350 ticket stubs from movies I’ve seen dating back to 1999! <-(and yes, I put an exclamation point here because I’m proud of this, but also realize how nerdy and lame this makes me appear)
12:11pm What else? Oh yeah, my sticker bench! I have a bench in my office at home that has stickers all over it. I started letting my kids slap stickers on it for fun, but over the years it has gotten a little more serious. Now every city I travel through, or restaurant I eat, or basically any business establishment I encounter, I find myself asking if they have stickers. Maybe one day I will consider it finished, and then lacquer the crap out of that thing. And BOOM! …family heirloom!
12:14pm I have no idea what I’m writing at this point. Honestly I can’t believe people read my blog things. But I guess a year in the Big Leagues and over thirteen in the minor leagues can qualify a person to write opinions and experiences about baseball stuff.
12:16pm Yesterday a kid messaged me over Twitter. My alias on Twitter is @DimTillard. I chose @DimTillard because when I went to sign up, there were 25 other “Tim Dillards”. So after finding out how UNspecial I was… I went with @DimTillard. Anyway, this kid messaged me contemplating quitting college baseball at the end of the season. I told him everyone’s baseball path is different. I said it doesn’t mean your path is more or less special, it just means that it’s your path to walk down.
12:19pm Being late at night and tired… that actually made total sense to me. But in the light of day, I think what I meant to say was something like: Over my many baseball seasons, I’ve learned it doesn’t matter whether you only played t-ball or have a 10-year MLB career. What matters is baseball and the relationships. Baseball was here before I got here, and baseball will be here long after I’m gone. It’s how we treat the game and the people… that really matters.
12:23pm Ok yeah it’s time to leave the room. This hotel maid has camped outside the door and is ready for me to vacate. Too bad I made my bed, and refolded the towel I used. Ha! Good luck Jacquelyn!
To Be Concluded…