Tonight “Team Rudy” went high class. When Shirley first started the Team Rudy bracelets, I was blown away, but I had no idea how it would catch on and just where it would lead. Tonight it led to a VIP who means a great deal to Rudy.
|Jonce, PHIL NIEKRO, and Jack|
My niece, Denise (don't get confused - there are 3 Denise's in our family - none named after the other) got this photo of PHIL NIEKRO wearing a TEAM RUDY bracelet! Holy Cow!
Denise's sons play baseball in the same league as Niekro's grandson. They all cross paths now and then. Denise said Mr. Niekro was so nice that she almost cried. He gave her an autograph, posed with the bracelet, passed along a very kind message for Rudy and then ASKED IF HE COULD KEEP THE BRACELET! He's officially part of Team Rudy!
Rudy was completely speechless when I told him, but once he was able to talk, he went into a major spiel about Niekro's impressive talent. At least 5 minutes of that was dedicated to the famous knuckleball.
Anyone who knows Rudy, knows that The Braves are very important to him and have been his whole life. His entire family are major fans. Baseball season is serious stuff and it all centers on The Braves. Phil Niekro is someone Rudy really admires both on and off the field. As Rudy put it, Niekro's a class act.
Denise messaged us a photo of the autograph. We'll get the original soon. The autograph is in a Braves program from ages ago (30+ years, I think). Rudy's photo is on another page in the program along with 2 of his buddies - Ricky and Dale. It's a closeup fan shot. Denise got a copy of that program from Rudy's sister, Nancy.
Tonight, when I think about all the things I'm thankful for, I'll be saying a special thank you prayer for Phil Niekro, my niece, Denise, and my friend Shirley. Their extraordinary acts of kindness have all made Rudy very, very happy!
Bonus - Instead of spending time tonight wondering about Pet scan results, we'll be over the moon thinking about how Phil Niekro was actually thinking about Rudy tonight and is wearing one of his bracelets.