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Monday, October 12

How I Got Nolan Ryan's Autograph

I have been down in Texas on and off over the last six months helping care for a sick family member. On Wednesday, we were in Austin and my wife, Julia, noticed that Wilco were playing and managed to get us into the show through Jeff's wife Susan.

When we arrived at the new Cedar Park Center (aka. hockey rink), not only did our last minute plea net us tickets, but they ended up being fifth row center! Wow!

About two-thirds of the way through the set, Jeff walked up to mic with a baseball in a plexiglass tube and announced that the band had all been given baseballs autographed by Nolan Ryan. Predictably, especially in Texas, people went nuts. Jeff asked if they were all nuts thinking he was going to throw a hard and pointy object out into a sea of people.

Jeff then announced that he was going to choose the recipient, and then spoke to a guy in the front row, who I will not call poor because, well, we was sitting in the front row. He said that he would like to hand the ball to him and have him pass it back to the person behind him, and that person should pass it back and so on until it got back to the guy in the striped shirt, "and his name is Patrick."

And he did. And they did.

And that's how I got Nolan Ryan's autograph in one of the weirdest and coolest concert experiences I have had in a life of cool concert experiences.

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