Baseball has a funny way of bringing people together. As soon as we walked into Peach’s Restaurant this morning (for the third time this week) we heard a voice ring out, “I still want those shirts, guys!” It was a beer vendor from Ed Smith Stadium who was also having breakfast, and who had admired our tropical Oriole shirts, which we were wearing once again.
When we got to the ballpark this afternoon, we ran into two different people whom we had seen at the Orioles minor league complex in the morning and then I passed a guy wearing a “Krumpe’s Do Nuts” tee shirt. That’s a local Hagerstown do nut shop. Turns out, he was not actually from Hagerstown–he was from Williamsport.
After the Oriole game, a 2-1 victory over Atlanta we headed to Dwayne and Sherry Guengerich’s house. Their middle son Jake played for the New Market Rebels for three seasons and they invited us to dinner–and another ballgame. This contest featured Jake’s younger brother Reid who plays in the 13-14 Sarasota Babe Ruth League. Reid was 2 for 2 with 2 walks and his team won 10-3. After the game, it was back to the Guengerich’s for some outstanding barbecue. To share a meal and a ballgame with this family was to expand our own family. It was definitely the warmest time that we’ve had in Florida so far and it had nothing to do with the temperature.
Tomorrow we leave Bradenton and head for Lakewood and Florida Southern College where we’ll see Jake and current Rebel T. J. Kuban play. It’s hard to say how many more friends we’ll pick up on the way.