On Tuesday, I wrote about my quest to pick one of Frank Viola's rookie cards. Um, it was epic. I posted it and it got a hefty nine pageviews, about four for each time I tweeted about it. Jealous? Anyway, that night, my phone sent me an alert that Frank Viola had favorited one of my tweets about that post. I just figured it was one of those accounts that tracks certain players and I didn't think anything of it.
Then, two nights later, I got a notification that Frank Viola Jr. had retweeted that tweet. I didn't notice it for a few hours, but when I looked at my blog stats, I had actual pageviews.
Whoa, that's weird. This must have been the real deal Frank Viola. So, I checked Twitter and sure enough, it was the real deal Frank Viola. And, the other Frank Viola is his son. It was all very exciting. I'm not going to lie and say that Frank Viola is my favorite player of all time, but he is legitimately second to Kirby Puckett. I can prove it. I wrote about it about a year ago and it's posted right here. See?
In that post, I talked about playing at Frank Viola Field. This is also true. Here's the plaque from that field:
I was a youth! I grew up in Shoreview! I knew Viola lived in my city but my parents wouldn't let me knock on every single door in the city looking for him. I loved Frank Viola. I wanted to be a pitcher just like him. I hated that I was right-handed. I just didn't understand why I couldn't throw left-handed too. When the Twins traded Viola in 1989, I cried. For real. I was so upset. Why would the Twins trade him? He had just won the Cy Young! He was amazing! The business of baseball was completely lost on me.
Kids are stupid though. Or, I was anyway. Once Viola left, I forgot all about him. I'd get his baseball cards in packs and fondly remember him for a few seconds, but I didn't properly follow his career. I even took him out of my Twins binder! Some fan! As I got older, I remembered why I loved Viola. His performance in the 1987 World Series is one of the few things I remember from my early childhood. I don't really remember much about that Series, but I definitely remember watching Viola.
What's the point of this story? When I was bawling about Viola being traded, my Dad should have just explained that one day Frank Viola would indirectly communicate with me via social media. I would have instantly felt better. For real, if I had been told as a seven-year-old that Frank Viola would communicate with me in any way, I would have been really excited. It certainly would have cheered me up.
So, almost 25 years later, I've decided that I am really excited and it's really cool that he possibly read something I wrote about him. As soon as I realized it was actually him, I rushed to read what I wrote again, just to make sure I didn't write anything really stupid. I did, but it was all pretty harmless. If he did read it, I really hope he got a bit of enjoyment from it. When you think about it, I owe that to him for all the enjoyment I got from him when I was a child.
In the same week, I got Frank Viola's rookie card and a tacit endorsement from Viola himself. Having a blog is super weird, but it's cool.