It’s 8:13am on Tuesday January 16th, 2018. My name is Tim Dillard. Some of my personal achievements include, and are probably limited to… possessing more than twenty-seven free tee-shirts, owning six Star Wars coffee mugs, highjacking Tim Kurkjian’s microphone, beating Super Mario Bros. in under nine minutes, and was once given beard-care advice from Canada’s The Bachelor. I’ve also been a pitcher in professional baseball for the last fifteen seasons. With a HUGE majority of that experience being spent in the Minor Leagues. However, this one time in the Big Leagues, I did make fun of Trevor Hoffman’s cutoff sleeves… he laughed.
8:15am If this is your first time reading my Inner Monologue, I’d just like to say… shame on you! And… no excuse! But also kindly remind you that I’ve written ten others you should totally check out. MLB Trade Rumors was so desperate, that when I begged for them to post my articles they said NO. But later said YES! So did you hear that kids,
persistance percistence pursistance presistence percystence PERSISTENCE pays off!
8:18am Currently I’m trying to come up with something interesting and baseball related to type about… but for now I’ll just enjoy coffee out of my Princess Leia mug. It has two handles that act as her famous hair buns. Definitely as cool and nerdy as it sounds, and is probably my favorite mug in recent memory.
8:19am When I was FIVE years old I had an awesome Budweiser Clydesdales mug. I guess that could sound bad… but it was a promotional giveaway from the South Bend White Sox baseball team in way back in 1988. We were living in South Bend, Indiana and my fasha Steve Dillard was the team’s manager. I loved that mug, but almost every day that summer, a certain outfielder would take that horse mug right out my tiny locker. He’d stuff a paper towel down in it, and then use it to spit tobacco. Usually I found it nasty and abandoned in the training room. So I’d grab the mug and immediately go scrub and rinse the thing until it was once again spotless. But by the end of the season, due to my lack of proper dish care techniques, I had inadvertently scrubbed those majestic beasts right off the side of the mug! (a tear just hit my keyboard)
8:26am You know, forgiveness is a very important lesson to learn in life… and one day, I plan on forgiving that man.
8:27am Spending most of my childhood at Minor League baseball stadiums, is probably the reason I enjoy giveaways so much. For eleven years I ate my cereal out of a 1990 Tucson Toros helmet bowl! (to this day, the logo is still intact, because it’s gently hand washed after every feeding)
8:29am You know those softy balls that are thrown into the stands during baseball games? Well in 1993, at age ten, I thought up, planned, and executed the theft of nine, that’s right, NINE Kane County Cougars promo balls. (not my proudest moment) During the getaway, I also fell and scraped the back of my hand. I still carry the scar. And now, the back of my hand is a reminder, that if you steal… you will fall down and scrape your hand.
8:33am To protect my eyes in years 2010 to 2015, I wore giveaway sunglasses from the Nashville Sounds’ Roy Orbison Night! My first two pairs were broken when accidentally sat on. Hard to believe, but my last pair of the free Orbison specs were actually stolen… by the Pacific Ocean. (I hope the Pacific Ocean fell down and scraped its hand)
8:36am Rally towel giveaways, bobblehead giveaways, tee-shirt giveaways, hat giveaways, football giveaways, and then there’s firework nights, superhero nights, Disney Nights, and don’t even get me started on Star Wars nights!
8:38am In 2016, I was part of a Harry Potter Night at the ballpark. Dozens of people were dressed in very authentic costumes from the movie saga. They would act out scenes on the field in-between innings and also helped with the Culver’s Build-A-Burger Race. I’m usually way away from the action down in the bullpen, but I ran to the dugout when Harry Potter himself was casting spells next to it. Our first baseman leaned over the railing and asked if they were part of some sort of Fan Club. Harry stopped, turned, and said, “What? Most certainly not! We are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!”
8:44am We all kind of laughed, then we asked Harry, “So then you’re like, part of a costumed acting class or something?” Once again not breaking character, and waving his wand he said, “No! These are our house robes you MUGGLE!”
8:46am And that was the game… where I apparently met the REAL Harry Potter.
8:47am But the greatest giveaway theme night in the history of the world was in 1994. My dad was the manager of the Quad City River Bandits in Davenport, Iowa. And I was an eleven year-old thief with a sweet tooth. And then it happened. Like, something out of a dream… TWINKIE NIGHT!! Literally all-you-can-eat Twinkies! I remember pallets and pallets of Twinkies piled high at every entrance to the stadium! I ate a dozen before First Pitch, or as I like to call it, before “Mom Shows Up”. But as my Twinkie count went up, my excitement level went down. And by the 7th Inning Stretch I was sick. Realizing I couldn’t eat any more, I had to concoct a plan to maximize this special night.
8:55am Instead of trying to put a bunch of Twinkies in a bag to carry home, and risk being apprehended and regulated by my parents, I began hiding them! For the last two innings of the game it was like reverse Easter! Not entirely sure where the phrase nook and cranny came from… but it applies! In the clubhouse above lockers and in the inside of cleats! I hid Twinkies on the concourse behind popcorn machines and under condiment stations! Needless to say, I secretly ate a Twinkie every day for the remainder of that season, but I knew some were left behind.
8:59am Ten years later, I was pitching for the Beloit Snappers, and traveled to Davenport to play the Quad City team. Besides baseball, my only goal on my way to the field that day was finding at least ONE of those hidden Twinkies! When we arrived I learned the stadium had been heavily renovated six months earlier, but I was still determined. And immediately went hunting for two hours. The next day I spent a few more hours looking before batting practice. The last day I was underneath the bleachers on top of a storage room, when a stadium worker walked up and asked what I was doing. I couldn’t think up a lie fast enough, so I said, “I’m looking for a Twinkie I may have left up here ten years ago.” …he laughed.
To Be Concluded…