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By education and experience - Accountant with a specialty in taxation. Formerly a CPA (license has lapsed). Masters degree in law of taxation from University of Denver. Now retired. Part time work during baseball season as receptionist & switchboard operator for the Colorado Rockies. This gig feeds my soul in ways I have trouble articulating. One daughter, and four grandchildren. I share the house with two cats; a big goof of a cat called Grinch (named as a joke for his easy going "whatever" disposition); and Lady, a shelter adoptee with a regal bearing and sweet little soprano voice. I would be very bereft if it ever becomes necessary to keep house without a cat.
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2010-09-16 9:09 AM
Coors Field Nugget Six - Full Moon and Potty Mouth
I know the full moon is about two weeks past, or two weeks ahead, depending on how you look at it. I made some notes for this entry sitting at Coors Field reception in late August. A few minutes ago, I checked an online calendar and it looks like what I'm going to tell you about happened a few days after the full moon, but the whole scenario was goofy enough that the title seems apt, no matter what the calendar said!
In the goofy category, a caller asks: "Do you have helicopter rides?" Say what? After I answer in the negative, she hangs up. The only plausible explanation I have for this is that she's googling "rockies" or something similar looking for a vacation thrill and doesn't realize she's calling a baseball team.
In the mysterious category, a caller asks for the specific extension which rings in the Rockies bullpen. Many extensions in the stadium are given an initial digit which is coded so that no one can dial in from outside the stadium. Most of the food preparation areas; the clubhouse, dugout and bullpen locations; some private offices; and one or two of the ticket operation locations are given extensions in this category.
Needless to say, the specific extensions for dugout and bullpen areas are highly confidential. No one can figure out how this information became available to someone from outside the organization. A call of this type has happened once or twice; and on our own those of us on the evening and weekend staff have developed a strategy. We decline to connect the call, offer to take a message, and get as much information as we can from the caller ID display. The caller in this instance refused to leave his name or a message, and became more than a little insistent that we "just connect the call, OK?" When my co-worker declined, he called back once or twice and when he got the same response from me, stopped calling.
In the exasperating category, a man with a rich, almost iconic, southern accent calls with a convoluted story involving attending the game with several disabled children, catching a couple of game balls tossed to them by the batboy, giving the balls to a stadium employee to get autographs, and waiting in vain for the balls to be returned. The longer he talks to me, the more implausible his story sounds, and more and more details shift and are revised so that I'm beginning to smell something fishy. When I request that he provide his seat location so that we can begin to investigate, the details he provides make no sense whatever in relation to the stadium seating chart which by now I know pretty much by heart.
A supervisor shows up and spends some more time talking to the guy and we eventually conclude that we were the marks in a rather inept scam operation. But why go to all that trouble to get a couple of baseballs? The full moon seems the only plausible explanation.
An advance security detail arrives, explaining that they are here to scout the seating location for the current Secretary of Agriculture who will be attending the game with his son. Since he is from my Iowa hometown, I tell the security guard I would like to say hello if he has time. The guard admits she is doing this kind of thing for the first time (we are more or less used to it, since the several governors of Colorado have come with regularity and the World Series three years ago brought a veritable flood of dignitaries) and she is obviously nervous and checking and rechecking her list several times over and making more than a few anxious cell phone calls. Eventually Sec Vilsack arrives. He remembers my father with affection and like a good politician seems truly delighted to meet a home town transplant.
And on to potty mouths.
Manny Ramirez, batting for the Dodgers, objects vociferously to the call on the first pitch he sees. Watching the replay, we can see that Manny was right, it wasn't a strike. Nevertheless, with the count 0-1 against him, he's off to the showers and the poor guy who comes to take his place in the batting order arrives with the pitcher already ahead by one pitch.
Most Rockies fans got a huge kick out of the incident. As a co worker remarked "saying the 'magic word' after just one pitch is usually not a good idea." The silence from the Dodger bench was deafening, and indeed within a couple of days the press confirmed the rumors that Ramirez' days in LA were numbered.
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