Saturday, July 10, 2010

Timing is Everything (the Nick Swisher Incident)

"This is a factory: Do NOT go outside the yellow lines. Do NOT take pictures. Do NOT touch anything."

Those were the kind yet firm words that started our tour of the Louisville Slugger Factory yesterday.

A few minutes into the tour, Slater and I found ourselves straggling at the end of our 20+ person group; Slate garbed in Yankees cap and Babe Ruth t-shirt.

As we looked closely at the station where finishing touches were put on bats, an employee looked at Slater and put his index finger into the air (the international sign for "wait a minute") and disappeared around the corner.

Slate and I just looked at each other as the space increased between us and our tour group. The "West Coast Choppers"-shirted man returned holding a bat.

"This is a rush order--Nick Swisher's bat for the All-Star game." He pushed it towards Slater; his eyes got big.

"Take it." Slate's smile eclipsed his face as he grabbed the bat.
"Take his picture," the employee said to me firmly.
"Here, get a shot of the order," he commanded.
We smiled like idiots and soaked it in.

As we caught up with the tour, stricken with serious cases of perma-grin, you would have thought Slate met Nick Swisher himself. You have to admit, getting your 14 year old hands on a bat before Nick Swisher does in the All-Star game is pretty darn cool.

Oh yeah, and Nick Swisher grew up in Parkersburg WV. The same city Slater's grandmother Sue lives in. The same city in which most of the Slater family was born. (Slater is my mother's maiden name.)

Later we thought of all the little things that contributed to that moment:
+ We got a later start to the trip than we planned.
+ In a split second we careened off the highway to check out the Adidas Outlet store.
+ Slater decided to wear his Yankees gear instead of a red non-Yankee ensemble.

You get the idea. A moment happened and we were fortunate enough to catch it--or more aptly--for it to catch us.

The Louisville Slugger Factory & Museum is a GREAT little trip for baseball fans. We learned a lot and kudos to the Louisville Slugger Co. for using one building for corporate offices, factory, and fan experiences --all set in an old building in a charming downtown.

Check out pictures on my Facebook page or here.