Major League Baseball stars are like everybody else; they just happen to make way more money and play a sport for a living.
He Didn't Think He'd Last In The League
In a recent interview with Ron Darling and Jimmy Rollins for Unwritten: Behind Baseball's Secret Rules, Casey told the story of how he met his idol Henry Rodriguez during his rookie season:
“My third week in the big leagues, I was just so excited to be there. And I was, I wasn't doing, like, I had just come back from an injury. I was hitting like a buck 70,” Casey said. “I'm like, ‘I'm gonna be outta here soon.’ I was like, ‘I gotta get as many conversations in as possible.’ I was asking guys to sign balls: ‘Hey bro, can you send a ball over to me? Thanks a lot.’ ‘Cause you know, I may never be back here again. I'm scared to death,” he continued.
He Got To Meet One Of His Idols
Casey, known for his kindness and talkative nature, didn't hesitate to reach out to Rodriguez and show his admiration for him:
“So now he's got his lead and I'm, I'm talking to him like ‘big fan of yours, bro. Love it in Montreal when you go deep, when they throw those Oh Henry bars on the field.’ And right when I say that, he turns to me and he’s like ‘Thanks a lot, man,' Casey recalled.
Casey Sort Of Betrayed Him
But Rodriguez paid a steep price for his kindness. Reds' lefty Ron Villone saw Henry a little too outside and picked him off in the blink of an eye:
“Right when he turns, Ron Villone freaking step off pick. I catch the ball as he's saying ‘thank you.’ I’m like ‘Bro, I am so sorry.’ I was like, ‘there's no bad intentions. I just got here. I'm probably gonna get sent down tomorrow, but you're out. My bad,’ you know, and I tagged him out and he walked off, looked at me like, you know ‘what a jerk.’ I'm like, sorry, Casey concluded.
Casey apologized again to Mr. Oh Henry, which was the story's end. Fortunately for him, he wasn't sent down to the minors as he thought he'd be, and he went on to have a lengthy and decent career in the Big Show.
Who knows? Maybe his awareness and ability to catch one of the biggest names in baseball napping led to his manager giving him another chance despite his subpar hitting at the time.