Friday, September 14, 2012
Ever read the back of a card and discover you have something in common with that player? Happened the other day when looking at Mike Napoli's '87 Topps mini.
It says right there he's from Hollywood, Fla., and currently lives in the bedroom community of Pembroke Pines, where I reside.
Well I'll be. Didn't know that. Neat.
I knew of Napoli and his breakout season last year, but now I really know him. Well, not really. But realizing we are quasi-neighbors in the off-season makes it feel like I could knock on his door, privacy fences be damned.
"Howdy, Neighbor. May I borrow a cup of sugar and a tube of Plumbers Goop? Oh, and can you keep your dog off my lawn? I'm not growing a personal toilet for him, you know. We're having a cookout. BYOB. Steaks off the grill at 6. Don't be late.''
I take pride in being from Tampa, birthplace of several major-leaguers. Never bumped into one out and about though. I'm optimistic they'll be a first time. I've lived in Pembroke Pines 13 years now, so it's nice to know there's a homegrown All-Star around here. One day I might be standing in line with him at a Starbucks or crashing into his luxury car on our congested roadways during the winter.
No doubt I'll be watching him a little closer from now on. After all, gotta keep up with the Napolis.
Even when they block your driveway.
Or hold birthday parties featuring a Skynyrd cover band until 4 a.m.
Or help beat your favorite team in Game 3 of the 2011 ALDS.