Monday, August 29, 2011

The Hargrove Suite

So I don't really have much to say about the baseball game as a game today because I didn't catch much of it. Because I was hanging out with Mike and Sharon Hargrove up in their suite.


If you recall, I paid a bunch of money to Coats for Kids to win 4 tickets to the suite. And a parking pass, of course.

If you ever get a chance to give to Coats for Kids in exchange for a prize, you should. Because 1) Who doesn't want kids to be warm? 2) You will get some awesome Tribe prize and they sure do have good items up for bid 3) You might get to meet Mike and Sharon Hargrove and they are super duper awesome.

So we got there around 6:30, and took a really long walk through the secret hallway and even up some fancy stairs to get to the Hargrove suite, which is along the first base line. A lot of nice folks who work at the stadium say "hello" and smile, like you're Ricardo Montalbán just returning to Fantasy Island.

The suite is like a hotel room, but decorated by the world's biggest Mike Hargrove fan (his wife, Sharon). Nice little kitchenette spread, stocked fridge, even a nice bathroom with a baseball-shaped potpourri warmer. And a hot dog machine.

The Hargroves weren't there when we got there so I immediately took photos so that I didn't have to look like a boob in front of everyone. Turns out they wouldn't have minded anyway.

Here's photos:
View from the suite

A wall

The baby area! You can't see but there are 3 Mustard dolls in there

Comfy chairs

10 cent beer night photo

Human Rain Delay routine

Nachos. According to Hargrove, the chili is delish

Hot dog machine. They made me take home extra dogs!

Hey Slider!

Popcorn, fruit, peanuts, Cracker Jack. Whatevs.
 So the Hargroves get there, with their neighbor "Just Jan" who is also quite lovely. They all live in Richfield. We do some intros and hand shaking and stuff. I had to stop myself from crushing Sharon's hand with my handshake, apparently she shakes like a lady.

They're showing us around like "here's the pop, here's the beer, there used to be two bottles of wine, we recycle cans, have a hot dog, here's the trash..." just real hospitable like.

Then Sharon tells us how she almost missed the game because she was in Houston visiting with her new grandbaby and just flew in today (!) Boy was that awesome of her. It wouldn't be a game in the Hargrove suite without her, really! You should meet her.

Anyway I'm all "Oh well my friend Cathy here, she just had a baby. He was born early, just came home Saturday." Then Sharon was kind of shocked that Cathy left her baby and Cathy started crying and Sharon started crying and I sort of walked away because I didn't want to be sad and the next thing I know Cathy is on the phone to her husband.

Telling him to bring the baby because Sharon wants him here, and she'll get them in!

Sharon Hargrove, FTW!!! So Cathy's husband brings the baby up, all the way from the suburbs. He (the baby) was pretty sleepy and had his eyes closed until Santana gets the homer and the fireworks go off. Then his eyes were open really wide.

He had a bottle and a diaper change and then Sharon held on to him for like 4 innings.

Did you know that you can get a "First Game" certificate at fan services for your kid? You can. Jack's got one now. Just 18 days old and he's been to a game and hung out with the Hargroves.  I told him I was sorry that I wasn't going to be able to top this, and his baseball experiences will all be downhill from here.

Oh yeah and we got a foul ball! So I let the baby touch the ball. Except I totally took it home. Lord knows he'll be to enough games in the future where he'll get a ball. This one was mine!

So I mentioned to the Hargroves how I listen to the game on the radio every night and how much I love Hamilton and asked if he was "just like that in person" and Hargrove is all "Do you want to meet him?" and then I dunno I felt super dizzy and started to sweat a lot. In the 6th he took me down to the press area and I totally met Hammy, Hegan and Rosie. Jim Rosenhaus looked really excited that not only did I know who he was I also wanted him in a picture with us.

I'm not going to post the pic with me but here's me just up and shooting a pic of them:
Mike Hegan and Tom Hamilton. I KNOW, RITE?!??!
Tom's saying "No come down here and take a picture with us." OKAY!!!!

So that was amazing. It was like meeting Jim Henson or Seth McFarlane. They're those voices that come out of boxes and now here they are with the voices coming out of people.

If you ever wonder how you become a broadcaster as good as Tom Hamilton, I think the answer is "you have to be born loud." Because he's loud. That's the key to his majesty I think tho. Something. It was surreal. I'd tell you more but I don't remember more!

I checked the audio archive and he doesn't mention meeting me. Bah!

So this was weird...the Hargroves wanted to engage with me and I sort of just wanted to watch baseball. I mean I WANTED to engage with them a whole lot, and maybe eat more or whatever. But I get so drawn in to the game. I guess it was lucky for me that so little happened during this game because I did have a chance to chat.

Did I mention how awesome Sharon Hargrove is? She's really awesome. And so is Mike.

I got to talk some baseball with Mike. He immediately gave us the Indians' and A's Media Guides when we got there. Maybe to test to see if we were cool enough to care about the media guide? We were, sort of. Cathy and I looked to see what everyone's favorite band was. Then one of the other guests I brought, Nick, and I looked up to see what famous person Oakland player Conor Jackson is related to (this character from JAG). I think my brother checked to see if some guy used to play for the Marlins. I don't know why.

I asked Grover about some players. I said "What is the deal with Valbuena?" and his answer was that Valbuena was brought up too early, and needs time to play. Noooooo!

He said that Jeff Manto was a "4 A" baseball player, meaning he was too good for AAA and not good enough to be a good major leaguer.

He said Asdrubal will stay with us 3 more years as we've got his contract that long. Then if we pay him enough he'll stay. But we could trade him for someone good too. I found that to be a non-answer!

He said LaPorta thinks too much, and doesn't believe in himself enough. Says you need to clear your mind when you're hitting. DOH! Just realized I should have asked him if that's why he did his ritual.

He said this is the time of year when the bullpen is worn out. That was in the 8th when Sipp was struggling a little.

I asked if Santana should stay a catcher and he said yes, he's a good catcher and has a good arm (??). He said some not-so-stunning stuff about his work ethic that I won't repeat. But he does say Santana is very talented.

Then, I kid you not, Hargrove asked me some computer troubleshooting questions!!! HAHAHA! (I build Web sites for a living, so as soon as people hear that they think I fix computers) I made sure he didn't have a unbeknownst-to-him pirated copy of Office and if he remembers where he downloaded it to so he can reinstall. Then I suggested that he tell the Indians that he needs a company laptop to get his "consulting" done, and perhaps then he could use the club's IT services. He thought that was a very good idea.

You know what? I sat there and sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and did "Louie Louie" complete with hand gestures, all by myself, sitting there on the porch of the Hargrove suite. I couldn't resist being at a baseball game!

Hargrove apparently has remote controls that control the televisions not only in his suite but the ones next door. He sits in the far corner of the porch and watches the TV on the far corner of the porch next door, controlling it with his own remote.

Nick was looking for ice and there was no ice in the ice bucket or in the freezer, so Hargrove went out to find someone to take care of it. He was totally raising some hell out there about the ice!

He still chews. He spits into a Indians logo cup. Weird!

They keep Sharpies and photographs in the suite (along with coloring books and sippy cups. All their kids but one live in Cleveland so they have family in the suite a lot) so I had him sign a bunch of pictures for my friends, and baseball cards. My friends who were there also got some signatures. We took some pictures. SOOOO accomodating!

So we were leaving after the game and Sharon said it makes her so sad that they throw all the food away, so we all left with food. I got 4 hot dogs, my brother got a container full of cut fruit, I think Cathy got some fruit too. Nick snagged a bag of peanuts.

How funny is that to go to a baseball game and come home with leftovers??

That's it. That was my night with the Hargroves. I have a headache about a mile wide and I'm not sure when I'll get to sleep, but it's all good. It's the pain of afterglow.

I tell you what...four kids from Nordonia are going to have an amazing story to tell for the rest of their lives after tonight.

Thanks, Mike and Sharon Hargrove! Thanks for staying in Cleveland and doing good work in Cleveland and being here to show us a good time.

Oh, there's more baseball tomorrow. See you there!

Update: I forgot to add something that Mike and I talked about and I think is pretty important.  I asked him if he is quite famous and recognized around town, and what he thought about it. He said he is really recognized and it's fine. But he doesn't like it when he's eating and someone interrupts his meal. That's never cool.

So if you ever see the Hargroves around town and are inspired to engage with them because I've told you how completely awesome they are, please be considerate. I'm sure they'd love to talk to you but really...not between bites. Or when they're busy with their family. You know?

If you really want to hang out - give to charity!

In-Person Chatter with Tom Hamilton:
"So where are you from?"
"Oh, I'm sorry! HAR HAR HAR HAR!"
- Tom Hamilton and Me

"I listen to you every night. I don't have cable, I never see the games on TV."
"Oh, I bet Mike [Hargrove] is glad about that! HAR HAR HAR"
- Me and Tom Hamilton


  1. Awesome man! Cool stuff, that was a even better than I thought it was going to be. No photo of you and Mike together, though? :)


  2. KICK. ASS. EVENING. That'd be like me hanging out with ... I can't even imagine who would be appropriate here. David Bowie? While watching an Arcade Fire show in the first row? And then him sending me home with Indian food?

  3. I just...speechless. Unbelievable.

  4. What a fantastic night! I am glad the Loyas made it out with you! AWESOME!