Getting a souvenir baseball from Colorado Rockies first base coach Rene Lachemann is a lifetime experience for more than just the most obvious reason. I mean sure, all the young fan really cares about at the time is getting his or her hands on a treasured baseball, but somewhere down the road they’ll understand and really appreciation the life advice the former major leaguer goes out of his way to give them while making his delivery.
I know their parents sure do.
Thanks to the folks at Root Sports in Denver, we got a chance to listen in closely on one of Lachemann’s now famous lectures when they mic‘ed him up prior to their game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday evening. As we learn right away in the exchange, as long as that fan fits one very specific criteria — rooting for the Rockies, of course — Lachemann is ready to make their day and improve their lives with his unique and powerful advice.
Among the nuggets of wisdom Lachemann likes to bestow:
• Always be good with your mother and father.
• Eat your dinner and clean up those vegetables.
• Don’t go into physical battle with your brothers and sisters (that’s the one I needed to hear about 25 years ago).
• Stay away from cell phones and video games.
• Do your homework.
• And his biggest piece of advice to the girls, which you can view in a fan video from earlier this season: Never date a baseball player.
Hey, if anyone would know about the last one, it's a baseball lifer like Rene Lachemann.
And I do mean lifer. Now 68, Lachemann has been in or around the big leagues since debuting as a 20-year-old catcher in 1965. He's played, He's managed the Seattle Mariners, Milwaukee Brewers, Florida Marlins (their franchise's first manager) and Chicago Cubs. He's traveled the roads as a minor league instructor.
Lachemann has basically seen and done it all over the past 50 years, but the three things I truly take away from his interactions with the young fans are simply this: Through it all, he's never lost his zest for the game and his appreciation for the fans, but perhaps most importantly, he's never lost his sense of humor.
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