In case any of you TBLA'ers don't know it, today is Eric's 34th birthday.
I was in my sophomore year of high school when I found out my mom was pregnant. Holy crap! I already had two older sisters and a punching bag (my other brother Greg) who was 5 years younger than me, so what in the hell did I need w/another brother? It didn't help that my mom was, um, advancing in years, either. She got through the pregnancy and Eric was born a bit prematurely on March 28, 1976, just a few days before my 15th birthday. (Immediate first strike: Eric's birthday right before mine so he gets all the attention and birthday dollars!)
It was kind of weird having a little rug rat around when I was in high school, but I managed to tolerate him. He came with some benefits: all the cool baby toys had advanced a lot since I was a baby. When he was 2 he got a Big Wheel, and I can remember me and my friends riding it down the stairs when my parents were out of town one weekend. ("Mom, I have no idea how that thing broke; come on...what would me and my friends want to do with a Big Wheel?!?!?!")
Well, as time went by it turned out that Eric was a pretty good kid after all. He and my other brother became very good friends. They were good to have around when my dad passed away when Eric was nine, and again when my mom passed away two years ago. I've shared a lot of fun times w/Big E, and I can proudly say he's one of the smartest guys I know (my kids call him "Uncle Google" and got him a shirt pronouncing that a few years ago for Christmas because he knows everything! He's really great with my kids and my nieces and nephews.). He is also blessed with one a keen sense of humor and he's fun to be around.
And now with this gig at TBLA it has come full circle: I am extremely proud of what Eric does here. And quite a bit jealous of him getting to spend quality time at Mecca on the field, in the clubhouse, and in the Vin Scully Press Box. Dude, I am your biggest fan.
Happy birthday, Eric. Have a great day today!