On the recent Joe Posnanski podcast, Michael Schur and him had a fantasy draft. It was drafting the five athletes/baseball players you’d like to have over for dinner. Four current and one historical. I wondered who mine would be. I started out by just doing baseball players, but it was four Red Sox players and Buck O’Neil. So, here’s my list of athletes I’d like to have over for dinner. I tried to factor who would mix well with others at dinner.*
*Because I know these individuals so well.
1. Tim Wakefield – I don’t think anyone else would take Wakefield first who wasn’t related to him. He’s been with the Red Sox since 1995, so I’ve been cheering him on for a long time. I appreciate his commitment and doggedness to the Red Sox and the game of baseball. His unheralded sacrifice, in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS, was key in turning the series Boston’s way. Over the years, he’s become my favorite Red Sox player.
2. Ndamukong Suh – I have three all-time favorite Husker players: Jeff Smith, Tommie Frazier and Ndamukong Suh. Suh gets the nod because he’s not only a favorite of mine, but a favorite of my boys. I’m sure the boys would not want to eat dinner and be begging to play with Suh in the living room. While Suh’s dominance is amazing to watch, his giving and charitable efforts have been cool to see. I’m glad my boys are fans of him.
3. Phil Mickelson – I’m amazed that for twenty years he has been able to play at a level of excellence while staying involved with his family. I like his honesty. I enjoy watching his shotmaking ability. While he may not be the best golfer of the past twenty years, he could be the best champion over that same period. I appreciate his commitment to family, and his willingness to sacrifice for it.
4. Aaron Rodgers – Ever since Green Bay traded Brett Favre, I wanted Aaron Rodgers to succeed. Practically no one gave him a chance in taking over the starting job, yet he proved them all wrong by becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Watching him lead the Packers to the win in the Super Bowl, and the way he handled himself throughout, was brilliant. I’m happy that he has asserted himself so well when no one thought he had a chance.
5. Larry Bird – My favorite basketball player growing up. I’d enjoy hearing him tell stories of his days in the NBA, particularly the stories of him trash-talking as he was lighting someone up on the court. Then, after dinner, we’d all shoot some hoops.