Monday, May 5, 2008

My Altercation With Pete Incaviglia's Mother

I what I can only call my greatest game as a fan with all the weird stuff that happened, it was capped off with a truly bizarre incident. It was near the end of the 1986 season, the A's were in the tank, school was back in and it was a mid-week day game. Of the nearly 1000 games I've attended, it had the lowest attendance of all of them. I personally counted it at 1603. There were only 33 people in the bleachers and one lone fan in the third deck. He found a better seat downstairs in the 2nd inning.

The Rangers beat the A's that day 4-0, with all their runs coming off three home runs, two of them by rookie star Pete Incaviglia. Since school was back in, no kids with gloves were there, and with only 33 people in all the bleachers, I shagged all three home run balls. All the scoring in the entire game went home in my backpack that day. How many fans can claim that? Wow.

After the game, the friend I sat with and I decided to try to get Incaviglia's autograph. We waited at the player exit, and since it was getaway day, the bus was inside the barricade. The players came out, and I yelled at Incavigila that I had his home runs and wanted an autograph. But he got on the bus. There was a large group of people in the exit area, obviously players' families. One woman came over to me and asked why I was yelling at Incaviglia and said that she was his mother. I told her that I caught both balls and wanted an autograph but he got on the bus. "Oh, that's great!" she replied, "I'm glad for you! I'm his mother, so I can get him off the bus for you. I'm his mother."

I agreed, and was grateful that she was so kind. She went over to the bus for a minute, then returned. "Oh, he's already seated on the bus and can't come out. But he said if I bring him a ball, he would sign it for you. I'm his mother." I was delighted. So I gave her one of the balls, and she took it. Suddenly, she said, "On second thought, I'm his mother. I want the ball." "Huh?" I replied. "I'm his mother, I'm his mother. I've been to every game he's ever played, little league, high school, college, and I have all his souvenirs and collect everything. I'm his mother!" She must have said "I'm his mother" about a hundred times. "You know, you said you would get him to sign it, but if you won't, I want it back" I said. "No, I'm going to keep it! I'm his mother!"

By this time the situation was completely out of hand. She was going to steal the ball from me. She was still within arm's length, so I reached over the barricade and grabbed it back from her. But she clutched onto it and wouldn't let go. We were having a tugging war over a baseball. Then she screamed for security! "Help, security! He's taking the ball away from me!" Unbelievable. Now, how's this going to look to security: a long haired bleacher bum is fighting with a player's mother over a baseball. The guard came over and she pleaded her case. But fortunately I had gone to so many games that I knew the guard personally. "Hey, Bob, I caught both of Inci's homers today and she's the one trying to steal it from me." He believed me instead of her, and made her let go. Man what a day. View the box score here. (At the time, the American League counted tickets sold as the attendance, not the actual number of people that were there. I'm the one reporting that number!)

1 comment:

  1. "I'm his mutha, I'm his mutha"! What a nut! Too bloody funny!