Monday, May 15, 2006

Editor's Note: Rarely does one see a pinch-hitter coming in for another pinch-hitter. But it has been known to happen. Today, it happens here, as my friend Will Young (keeper of his own always excellent and recently retitled blog) calls upon his fiancee Laurie Sheen to write about her favorite player.

May 15th, 1981

Justin Morneau Born

Happy Birthday Justin Morneau. You have been my favorite player since I really started paying attention to baseball. It all started when I met my fiancee (though he wasn't that at the time). He was a CRAZY Twins fan with all sorts of knowledge about baseball. I wanted to learn more so he said I needed to pick a team. After being with him though a season, I decided to stick with the Twins. I don't know how I noticed Justin, but I did.

He was still in the minors, playing 1st base with a lot better offense than a player who shall only be named "Doug". I was wondering why Justin wasn't playing 1st base, or even called up as a backup. He just kept hitting home runs all the time while Doug was not doing so well at the plate. My fiancee thought it would be funny to get me a Justin shirt before he was even called up.

Then the hightlight of my summer occurred when Justin came to Baltimore to play the Orioles a week after being recalled. I was fortunate enough to be able to use my Uncle's season ticket (about 12 rows behind home plate) for the entire series. It was my opportunity to wear my Justin shirt proudly. The first day of the series I walked up to the dugout to get Justin's autograph, but he was taking batting practice. However, the fellow Canadien was at the dugout and looked at me and said "Is that a Justin shirt?!" I just smiled.

Then Koskie (the fellow Canadien) walked up to Justin and pointed me out. Well, I was Justin's first official fan. I appeared at every game for the rest of the series just to get more signed things from Justin. By the end of that weekend, I had two different t-shirts and a baseball card autographed.

People think that I like Justin for his looks (because I'm a girl), but that is not the reason. I see potential hidden in him. He promised me at TwinsFest this year that he was going to learn how to hit. Well, Justin... when are you going to follow through with your promise? You noticed I cut my hair and I noticed that you still can't lay off the first pitch. So, Justin, on your birthday, lay off the first pitch and hit for the cycle. It would be a great present to you and to me. Happy Birthday Justin Morneau!

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