I have been friends with Kurt for over 20 years, and we have also been co-workers for 14, and company softball double play combo for nine (I played short, Kurt 2nd; we even pulled off a triple play together). I first met Kurt on a company softball team, as my bosses knew him from a previous company. Several years later when I was out of work, Kurt was instrumental in gaining employment for me at his architecture firm, and he later became a principal of that firm.
Kurt and I have talked so much baseball and swapped so many stories that I'm sure we could write a book between us. He bought into my season ticket plan for years at Candlestick, and when Pac Bell Park first opened, Kurt was in charge of securing season tickets for our company. The company seats were in the exact same mirror image location down the 3rd base line as mine are on the 1st base line. I've sat there numerous times as well.
Kurt is a 19th century baseball buff, card and memorabilia collector and has such a keen "nose for baseball" that baseball often finds him. Two stories are in order here. Last year during Spring Training Kurt was flying home from China on a business trip (he designs homes on golf course communities there) when a flight attendant asked if he were a baseball fan. "Uhhhh, yes I am." Well, Joe Torre is sitting in first class. Okay, this is an impossibility. Joe Torre is NOT sitting in first class on a flight from China during spring training and flight attendants on international flights just don't ask passengers at random if they're baseball fans. Except he was. The Dodgers had been in China promoting baseball for the upcoming 2008 Olympics in Beijing and played a couple of games there. Of course, Kurt was the only person in the world that could have met Joe Torre on a flight from China. "Good luck this year, Joe" was Kurt's closing statement, until later when he realized that he, as a Giants fan, just wished the Dodger manager good luck!
Kurt's brother runs a charity that puts Kurt in occasional contact with all-time hall of fame greats. And of course, this year when I had tickets for Lincecum (who took a no-hitter into the 7th) and two days later, Cain, I didn't have tickets for the game in between when Johnathan Sanchez tossed his no-hitter, it was Kurt's daughter to whom I sold the tickets, and when she couldn't go, Kurt did.
Another story epitomizes my relationship with Kurt. I was laid off earlier this year, and when I called my former company for something, all the phone lines were disconnected. What I didn't know was that a brief power outage in their neighborhood caused the phone company to give their disconnected message, so freaked out a bit, I called Kurt on his cell phone. "Oh, hey, Steve, you'll never guess where I am! I'm in the beer line at the Metrodome at a Twins day game." Of course he is, he's Kurt. Every summer he takes a ballpark tour with some of his family.
After all these years of talking baseball, it just occurred to me that I can't remember ever going to a game with Kurt. What are the odds of that? Even though that's the case, I'm still adding Kurt to my cast and crew. Dang, Kurt, could we catch a game together sometime?