Fan Encounters > Amanda

It was April 1998 and I had just turned 19 a couple months prior. Some folks I knew from New York were planning to travel to Philadelphia for the Braves/Phillies series and they invited me along. So, I flew up. Since it was Easter weekend, I got this idea to make an Easter basket and give it to Tom. At the time, I thought it was GENIUS. I gathered up the plastic Easter grass, a chocolate bunny and all of that good stuff and threw it in a basket, all wrapped up with purple cellophane. I also included this miniature replica of one of the holes at the Augusta National inside the basket as well.

So there I stood, in the lobby of the Philly hotel, holding the basket of goodies. Then he walked over to us and it suddenly hit me that I was about to give this man an Easter basket. My friends were going to stand there and watch me give this man an Easter basket and NOT stop me! WHY? WHY?

Since there was no hole to crawl into, I really couldn't do anything about it. So, I gave it to him. To his credit, he was really nice and thanked me for it. I think at some point he asked the people I was with if they were "corrupting me." I think we just laughed and someone said that they were trying to.

After the basket fiasco, my friends and I went to the hotel bar to hang out . . . where I drank nothing but soda because I was underage. *Cough* Anyway, so we were all sitting up at the bar and Tom eventually showed up and sat at a table in front of us. We were all pretty much just sitting there, watching a big screen TV that had Masters highlights on it.

At some point in the evening, these two ladies walked up to Tom and asked him if they could sit in his lap for a photo. He said O.K. One of the people I was with volunteered to take the photo for them. Now the whole time this is going on, I say nothing, but I'm thinking, "I can't believe they just asked to sit in his lap. I would NEVER do that."

So the picture gets taken (we gave bunny ears behind them. I kinda feel bad about that!) and everyone returned to their seats.

Then my friends started in. "Hey Tom! Peaches (me - nickname - long story) wants to sit in your lap for a photo."


Evil. The are absolutely pure evil.

Tom said nothing. He didn't even turn around. He just motioned with his arm for me to come on over.

You have NO idea the intense PANIC that came over me. I literally had NO IDEA what I was going to do. WHY did this hotel NOT have holes to crawl into? WHY?

So, I did the only thing I could do. I denied it. Loudly. Intensly. Multiple Times.

"No, I didn't say that. I did NOT say that. No, I don't want to. Why did you say that?"

You know Tom was probably up there thinking, "Yeah, sure. You didn't say that. Uh huh."

I kept protesting, but it was all for naught.

One of my friends grabbed Tom's chair (with him in it) and pulled it backward. And then someone pushed me off my stool, sending me sort of lunging forward.

I turned and looked at Tom who said, "Well come on Peaches, have a seat." (I think he even patted his leg while he said it, which is absolutely hilarious)

I didn't really feel I had a choice at that point, short of sprinting from the bar, so I sucked it up and sat down on his lap. Sort of. I kinda tried my best to just sort of "hover" and not really SIT sit on his lap. I think he noticed too because he said, "Boy, you're light."

Hole. Crawl into. Please.

And then my friends (and the Braves Strength and Conditioning coach Frank Fultz) behind us gave us bunny ears so after I got up, they made me sit back down so they could take ANOTHER one.

I ended up getting the photo signed a couple of days later and it ended up being kind of funny because Tom signed it twice. He signed it first on a dark portion of the photo but you couldn't see it. So, he signed it again.

Looking back on it, it's a really funny, fun memory to have (and I wouldn't trade it for the world) but, even so many years later, it's still completely embarrassing. And if the same thing happened today, I really don't think there is any way I could go through with it. I'd lean towards that "sprinting from the bar" option. :)