Friday, July 31, 2015

Awesome Emma's Goodbye Letter to Cole Hamels

One of the coolest things to come out of this bolg has been Awesome Emma, a little girl who burst onto the scene by winning the first annual ZWR Halloween Costume Contest and then showed us all up by revealing that she's a naturally gifted journalist/celebrity interviewer. Ever since Emma's first assignment-- a sit-down with Cole Hamels-- the lefty pitcher has held a special place in her heart. She wrote him the following letter upon his being traded, and asked that I share it here. 

Dear Mr. Cole Hamels,

I just want to start out by saying that I woke up sad today when I heard you were traded and I will miss you. You are so well loved by the Philadelphia fans and you brought something so special to the team that no player could ever replace. I do not always agree with the Phillies trades but I have to accept it anyway. You are extra hard to say goodbye to. I will never stop wearing my Cole Hamels jersey, in fact I will wear it with lots of pride and respect for you. You are so special and I will always like you no matter which team you play for. You will be so deeply missed and Philadelphia will always love you and give you a warm welcome home. You are just so amazing and this breaks my heart to be writing this. I love how you finished your last game in Philadelphia with a no-hitter. I was so excited and so happy for you. You made history!

I learned that you are not only a great baseball player, you are a great man. You have given me so many opportunities from Diamonds and Denim, meeting baseball players, and meeting such a kind person like you. I remember the first time I met you at the elementary school in Philadelphia and I was so speechless because of your good looks. I just want to say thank you for all that you have done as a player. I also want to thank you for teaching me so much about your charity.

My birthday is coming up and I mentioned in my invitation that instead of gifts, I wanted to collect money for the Cole Hamels Foundation. I was very inspired by what you and Mrs. Hamels do and how you help people in need and provide so many children with a chance for a better education. I also want to help kids in need and give them a hand and hope to inspire others as you have inspired me.

I am happy for you, but I’m also very sad and I hope you win a lot of games for the Rangers. Philadelphia will miss you. I hope the Rangers love you as much as Philadelphia does and you win the World Series. Go celebrate with some mint chocolate chip ice cream. Thank you so much again and I wish you and your family the best. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you and more thank you.

Your Friend,
Awesome Emma

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thank You, Cole

Thank you for being a home-grown pitcher who turned into a perennial ace.

Thank you for Game Five.

Thank you for being a World Series MVP.

Thank you for being a champion.


Thank you for showing no ego when the team brought in other high-profile, high-salary (sometimes bolg-worthy) pitchers.

Thank you for not listening to the idiots.

Thank you for your charity work.

Thank you for being so kind to a little girl who adored you, going well beyond being a good sport. You legitimately made an impact on her.

Thank you for that mustache.

Thank you for that no-hitter.

Thank you for everything, and best of luck.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We Found The Girls from the Taylor Swift Concert!!!

Well, I mean, not exactly "we", as I didn't find anyone. Kate found them!!!

Them, of course, being the two sweethearts who were so amazingly, inconceivably, face-meltingly nice to the Wah. Also, it turns out they really do have a huge Taylor Swift site because their post about it has like sixty seven billionty notes (I have no idea how Tumblr works TBQH I don't even know how to get off the front page but they're basically superstars over there).

I'm not sure what I'm going to do next exactly, but I definitely wanted to follow up because so many of you reached out to me upon reading yesterday's post. I can say that in a perfect world it involves, in some fashion, them hanging out with Taylor Swift and hearing from her that what they did was special. That sounds crazy, sure ... but I'm a complete moron and Roy Halladay went to the zoo with me. Stay tuned, and if you feel so inclined spread the word because good people deserve good things.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Biggest Thank You Ever (@taylorswift13, @taylornation13, #TaylorSwift1989Tour)

Sometimes things happen that remind you of how special the bonds of our interactions and offerings of kindness can be, and how those opportunities realize in you emotions that are all too often hidden away. Last night, at the Taylor Swift concert, two young girls did something that mine (and I) won't ever soon forget... and taught her something that I hope she also will always recall- even if more than the concert itself. The story, I'll try to be brief.

We bought tickets for the show waaaaaay back on the day they first went on sale, and figured that since the Wah (if any Taylor Swift fans end up here, that's the pseudonym given my daughter on this site as a baby) was going to only be five when it happened (and if we even took her), we'll just get cheap-o seats. She'd get to look down and see the whole stage, odds are she wouldn't last the night, it's likely insane to spend four hundred dollars to take a five year old to a concert, ... all of those reasons. We were hoping she'd get to go, though, because she loves Taylor Swift; once she made us listen to We Are Never Getting Back Together on repeat on a four hour drive to the Outer Banks oh man that was fun.

Last night arrives and so do we at Nats Park. It ended up being a daddy daughter date, since the Nag (again, a beloved nickname) had to work late and I secretly wanted to go because I like Taylor more than her there's no shame in that stop judging. We grabbed some dinner, walked around, got ice cream, stood in line for the family bathroom for eleventy hours because I can't go into the ladies room and went to our seats. Within about a minute of sitting down we were approached by two young girls who struck up conversation with the Wah. I thought to myself, "Cool, we're sitting next to nice kids, this will be fun for her." Then, out of the blue, they offered us two field seats.


My head was spinning a mix of confusion and excitement. Lacking retention of specifics, they had their original seats, but got two additional bangers right next to the stage because they have a fan site or the fan club (Taylor Swift Nation?) gave them two more ... like I said, my mind was all over the place. I asked if they were sure, they insisted. I asked the Wah if she wanted to go down there, she said yes. I offered to give the girls face value for those tickets, they said no. I offered to buy them shirts, they said no. I offered to buy them dinner, they said no. Then they said that all they wanted was to make my daughter's night. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

The girls walked down with us to the field, explained to the security guards the situation ("We know Taylor's people"... so much more confident than I'd ever be!), and got us our wristbands. They then walked the Wah to her seat, and came back after each of the opening acts to talk with her and ask if she was having fun. I think that, nearly if not equally as much as Taylor Swift herself, made her night. She kept asking when "her friends" would be back.

The entire chain of events that afternoon and evening- every random hiccup (original restaurant by the park that we tried was too full), unintended divergence (ran back to the car to get rain coat), or shortcut (ice cream-only line for Shake Shack) led us to that exact situation where this could have taken place. We sat down in our seats as the two girls happened upon our specific section in a huge baseball stadium.... we couldn't re-create that if we tried it infinite times. And because of it, to chance and good fortune in small parts and overwhelming thoughtfulness in large, my little girl had the experience that she did.

This is going to sound so dorky, but the selflessness and sweetness those girls showed the Wah- in act and example- had me so taken aback that I just wanted to hug them and cry... neither of which would have been a particularly good look in public. I can only imagine how proud their parents would be to learn of it. The concert was amazing, but being the recipient of such an immense act of kindness- to be told that someone just wanted to do something nice for you because they knew it would make you happy ... I hope the Wah was able to grasp it, and remembers that she has that same ability in life.

THANK YOU, again, more than I could ever say, to these two. You gave a gift that will last a lifetime. The little one fell asleep on my lap and we had to leave before the end of the show, so we couldn't see you one last time and I never got your names to send you our pictures.

Taylor Swift people, if you're reading this (hence the Twitter handles and hashtags in the title of this post) please bring these girls backstage and let them eat stromboli or drink lemonades with Tay Tay or something. People who aren't Taylor Swift, please share with everyone you know so that this stromboli and lemonade party can happen. It must. Pictures below. I don't normally show faces of family but will this time...


That guard was hilarious BTW

Holy moly these seats

Also I'm sure you're reading this Taylor thank you for saying that everyone at the show was your friend. When she woke up this morning she was sure to tell her brother that she's Taylor Swift's friend. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Ruben Amaro, in the style of True Detective

It kind of seems like Rube is hell-bent on burning it all down on his way out the door (presumably, hopefully?) at the end of the season (please?).

Of course, saying dumb stuff has always kind of been Rube's thing, so maybe there's no calculation (HA!) to it.

We get the baseball team we deserve.

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