Pat Johnston and I were both attending the same insurance underwriting conference, but we’d never met before—or so we thought. Because our flights got in at about the same time, the conference organizers assigned us the same car and we chit-chatted on our way to the hotel. A pretty normal story, so far.
Then I asked Pat where he went to college.
“The University of Dubuque,” he replied, and I gave an unintentional groan and felt a look of disgust cross my face. I immediately apologized and quickly explained a relevant chapter of my college baseball career.
I don’t remember most of my games—college was a long time ago, now—but I’ll never forget that game against his alma mater, University of Dubuque, probably the most frustrating game I ever played.
To make a long story short, we had six runs and eight hits in the first two innings, an incredible start…. And went on to win 7-6 in the 14th.
Yes, we won, but collecting only one run and two hits over 12 innings was grueling. Even worse, that day was supposed to be our one day to hit the town and beach, but our coach was so mad about our performance, he banished us all to our hotel rooms.
I’d told Pat that I went to New Mexico State. After I’d told him my story about playing Dubuque, he got a strange look in his eye and asked if that game was in 1986, at South Padre Island, Texas.
Yes. Yes, it was.
As it turns out, Pat was on that University of Dubuque team.
There we were, two underwriters living in Iowa and North Carolina, getting in a car in Atlanta, 24 years after playing against each other in a baseball game in South Padre Island, Texas.
Definitely a small world!
Pat cost me Spring Break in South Padre Island, Texas!
…but at least we won the game!