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Meeting Jerry Coleman

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Ezra Shaw

I went to the SDSU War Memorial Ceremony on Saturday morning.  Jerry Coleman was the key note speaker.  Before the ceremony I saw Jerry standing there alone.  Nobody talking to him.  I decided to bite the bullet.  It was kind of a solemn ceremony.  So very quietly and respectfully I approached him and placed my hand ever so gently on his back to get his attention.  He turned around. I leaned in, in almost a whisper I said "Jerry, I just wanted to congratulate you on entering the Baseball Hall of Fame".

He responded whispering back "I just out lasted the rest of them, that's all".

He shook my hand.  A good grip.  He didn't try to turn my hand over so his hand was on top, like Kev's dad.  He just shook it firmly and caringly.

Then he looked down and saw my USC t-shirt.  "Now why are they ranked #2 now in the BCS?"

"It's the computers Jerry, you can't trust them", I responded.

He laughed.  "I could tell you some stories about computers messing things up" he replied.

He pointed to my shirt again, "So who they playing today?"

"Washington State"

"Oh they'll take that easy and be back in 1st place where they belong.  Are you going to the game?"

"Yeah I'm leaving in about 20 minutes, I'll cheer for them for you Jerry.  It was nice meeting you."

He was really nice and real eager to talk a bit, even if it was about college football.

It was one of those weird things after the fact, thinking about all the great people he's shaken hands with.  Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle... Ted Leitner.

Little did I know at the time that Jerry was only the first Baseball Hall of Famer I would be meeting that day.  There would be two.  Oh yes there would be two!

To be continued...