Today's final athlete run-in story is a sad one, because it's a nice story about the late Ken Caminiti. It comes to us
from Jason in Houston:
I was in Kissimmee, Fla., for the Astros spring training in 1992, 12 years old at the time. I was with my dad and a friend from my little league team standing outside of the clubhouse collecting autographs after a mid-March game. Jeff Bagwell signed for over an hour; he was the NL ROY in 1991 so he was very popular and extremely grateful to all of the fans. Then after a few other players came and went and the crowd dwindled, the star Catcher turned 2nd baseman and noted humanitarian Craig Biggio came barreling out of the clubhouse at full speed and plowed through the remaining crowd and jumped into his Explorer without so much as a fucking smile or cool-guy head-nod. He wasn't going anywhere, just sitting in his car waiting, so on my dad's suggestion, I wandered over to his window and waved and asked for him to sign my hat. He told me to fuck off and pretended like I was a bum trying to wash his windshield. I pleaded for about five seconds and gave up. As I turned to walk off, I ran right into famed steroid and coke fiend Ken Caminiti. I could tell he was the one Bidge was waiting on, so I did not try to stop him for an autograph or anything. He must've seen the dissappointment on my face because he called me over to the Explorer and started talking to me about Houston and my trip to FL. I was star struck and really nervous but he asked me if I wanted anything signed. I had a few of his cards in my stack so he spread them out on the hood of Biggio's truck and signed every one. He then engaged my dad in conversation and was very polite and respectful. I could see Craig fuming in his car because he was being held up, and it made a lasting impression on me. Ken may not have made all the right decisions in life and people may think he's a bum for his drug use, but he was the coolest Astro that year and he made a lifelong fan. As for Biggio ... take that Hutch award you just got and stick it in your ass.
And Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night (music box plays softly).
Athlete Run-Ins: Messing With Cade [Deadspin]