A HALL OF FAME ENCOUNTER

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I recently followed Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer on Twitter.

The contact with @Jim22Palmer, a fine Twitter account by the way, reminded me of the brief time we spent together.

It was April of 1991 and Palmer was in Kenosha, Wis., making an appearance for Jockey International. The Hall of Fame pitcher was a long-time spokesman for the underwear giant, whose corporate headquarters are in Kenosha.

As a sports writer for the local paper, I got an extended interview with Palmer, who couldn’t have been more gracious.Especially since I, in @SoxNerd mode about 23 years early, wasn’t much interested in chatting for long about his recently-completed (and failed) comeback attempt.

I was more interested in peppering him with questions about the up-and-coming White Sox. Palmer’s appearance in Kenosha coincided with the Orioles series at New Comiskey Park where Palmer worked the games for Baltimore television.

Being the pro that he is, Palmer answered every question I had on the Sox. He was optimistic about the future of the franchise at that point. Palmer was especially impressed with a young third baseman named Robin Ventura, whom he compared to a young George Brett.

Palmer’s cooperation and the respect he afforded 26-year old Sox-focused me made this one of my favorite moments in my career at the paper.

I wonder if I would have felt the same way if he ripped the Sox!

 

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