The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Now batting, Tony Pena

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Oct 24, 2007 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Tony Pena is interviewing with the Yankees today. The team plans to make him available to the media and I’ll report back when that happens.

Could Pena emerge as a compromise choice? I doubt it. But I do know the Yankees are impressed with the work he has done over the last two seasons.

Meanwhile, here is my Tony Pena story:

I was covering college basketball in the 1990s for a paper in Connecticut when I volunteered to get off a plane to get a free ticket. I forgot I had the ticket and found the voucher one day, almost a year later.

To my chagrin, it expired in a month. It was late in the summer, too late to plan a vacation. So I decided to fly to Chicago and see two games on the same day then return the next morning. My girlfriend at the time thought I was insane.

So I flew to O’Hare, took the train to Wrigley Field and pounded Old Styles in the sun watching the Cubs. Then I hopped on the train to Comiskey Park and watched the Indians play the White Sox.

I got there early and the park was near empty. I walked up and got a seat that was pretty close to the field. Tony, Cleveland’s backup catcher at the time, was hanging out and I got his autograph on my program.

I explained to him what I had done that day and he thought it was great that I liked baseball so much. When he came back out again, he flipped me a ball. I can’t remember who won the games, but I remember it was great seeing 18 innings in two parks.

That ball is still on my desk. I told Tony my tale in spring training and he laughed. He’s still a good guy, always with a smile and a friendly word for everybody.




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