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A Major League Pitcher and a Senior Citizen

Harry Longshanks

bow-chicka-bow-wow
Jul 20, 2008
718
0
With the summer days waning, I decided to take a mental health day and play some weekday golf.

I toddled down to a local muni as a single and was paired with two older gentlemen and a younger guy.

The younger guy hit his 5-wood about 250 yards and his driver was well over 300 yards (but somewhat erratic). We got to talking and I asked him where he worked, and he said he just got back from a job in Arlington, TX. I mentioned that I knew the area well, and I asked him who he worked for. He responded "the Rangers". He had mentioned his name before, but it didn't really register, as it was a common sounding name. I stood slackjawed and dumbfounded (an all too common facial expression for me) for a moment and said, "Are you on the team?" He said "yes, I was a pitcher until I blew out my shoulder." It then dawned on me that he was Michael Wagner, a middle relief pitcher for the Rangers. He had a few good years in the majors, but injured his shoulder. He went to camp this year, but the post-surgery shoulder wasn't the same.

Anyway, SUPER nice guy and whip smart. He went to Vanderbilt in the off season and got his undergrad degree and in a few weeks he is heading off to grad school:
Me: Oh, that's great. Where?

Him: Harvard.

Me: Of course.
Major league pitcher, Vandy, and Harvard. Damn. Makes my resume look like my mom took a wooden spoon to my head as an infant before the skull had fully hardened.

But it gets better. We started talking golf, and he said he was trying to tune up his game because he had a good friend on tour who he was going to play some golf with after the PGA Championship. I said, "oh, the PGA Tour. Who is it."
Him: "Yeah, PGA. He actually won rookie of the year last y...

Me: "Your good friend is Brandt Snedeker?"

Him: "Yeah. He went to Vandy too. He's a GREAT guy. So much fun to be around."

Me: "Of course."

My internal monologue in the voice of Nelson from the Simpsons: "Hah-Hah"

Anyway, helluva nice guy. And modest as they come. I basically had to drag all of this stuff out of him.

So, despite massive underdog status, I'm going to root for Brandt Snedeker at the PGA.

Then there was the Senior Citizen. This guy hit every single fairway, belted his driver straight down the middle around 180 yards. No big deal, right? Try 81 years old. And a backswing that never got past 10 o'clock. I hope I can do that when I'm 81.

I hacked it up big time and man was it hot out. But it was still a brilliant day.
 

Dusty90

Another Canuck
May 6, 2007
457
0
Wow, that would be cool to be paired up with someone like that. And it is also cool that he was so modest, I dont think that it would have been the same if he was bragging about everything. I hope that I have the chance to meet someone well known in this sort of manner.

Very cool story... what'd he shoot (and did either of you get beat by the senior citizen... I know that I have on occasion:laugh:)
 
OP
Harry Longshanks

Harry Longshanks

bow-chicka-bow-wow
Jul 20, 2008
718
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
Wow, that would be cool to be paired up with someone like that. And it is also cool that he was so modest, I dont think that it would have been the same if he was bragging about everything. I hope that I have the chance to meet someone well known in this sort of manner.

Very cool story... what'd he shoot (and did either of you get beat by the senior citizen... I know that I have on occasion:laugh:)

Hmmm, I don't know. We all kept our own score cards (I like to keep my F/W hit, GIR, putts, U/D, S/S, penalties, etc.)

It wouldn't surprise me if the old guy whooped me good. His wedges and putting weren't great, but otherwise, he was darn consistent. And I struggled mightily with my driver and my lob wedge on the back 9 today. Thankfully, my punch shot and my putter saved my from a catastrophic round.

Wagner was playing from the tips, and I think he was just playing this as a practice round. He lost a number of balls while swinging for the fences and cutting corners. But I bet his game is going to improve LOTS now that he isn't tied to MLB and school at the same time. He's clearly got that innate athletic ability.
 

mddubya

Hybrid convert
Nov 6, 2007
6,029
2
That is a neat story. It's nice to hear that he never let his success go to his head, and that he didn't let his injury make him bitter.
 
OP
Harry Longshanks

Harry Longshanks

bow-chicka-bow-wow
Jul 20, 2008
718
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
That is a neat story. It's nice to hear that he never let his success go to his head, and that he didn't let his injury make him bitter.

Yes. I'm sure he was disappointed about not playing anymore, but he definitely has his head screwed on straight. Any kid who was smart enough to have his education written into his MLB contract so he could go in the off-season and have it paid for by his team (I think that is what he meant), and then actually follow through even though he was making MLB coin at 20 years old - well, that's a smart kid.

And the other thing that impressed me was that, while he didn't talk about his own accomplishments, he couldn't stop talking about what Snedeker's accomplishments. To me, it's a sign of a very good person when he or she would rather tell you about their friends' successes instead of their own. He clearly respects the hell out of Snedeker.

Oh, and he also bought his kid brother's school new dugouts for their field.

He also told me that there are only 11 scholarships for the 35 man roster at colleges, even at D-I schools. I didn't know that. That's ridiculous. These kids bring in revenue for the schools. The least the NCAA could do is make sure their education is paid for. 4.5 scholarships for the golf team and 11 for the baseball team is criminal. I wonder how many football scholarships are allowed in D-I?

EDIT: Football = maximum of 85 per team.


Another EDIT: There is a full chart of scholarships here:
http://www2.ncaa.org/portal/academi.../academic_reform/understanding_penalties.html
 

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