I recently started a new day job in Berkeley, California. Unfortunately, I can’t make all my money as a baseball blogger/historian. Thus, I pay the bills doing sales work and have recently begun a position as an account executive for an Internet start-up in the East Bay. In a given day, I’ll cold call upwards of 50-60 businesses, pitching review services, and I get to talk with some interesting characters. Occasionally, they have names I recognize.
One of my quirks, dating back to childhood, is that I have an encyclopedic brain. Some people probably use this to become ace scientists or attorneys. I simply clean up every time I go to bar trivia, pulling out the names of hit movies and politicians like I was a walking Wikipedia. My knowledge base unfortunately doesn’t extend to much that has practical use, though I like to put on my resume that I know most World Series winners and the names of all the U.S. presidents from the 20th century– backwards. If I ever figure out how to make money off this, I’ll be set for life.
I bring this all up because I recently called on an architect named Rick Burleson. Some may know that there was also once a baseball player named Rick Burleson, who played shortstop for the Boston Red Sox and California Angels in the 1970s and ’80s. I brought this up in my initial call with the architect and he laughed, telling me had Burleson’s baseball card. We set up a follow-up call for this morning and to prepare, I did some research on-line on Burleson the Ballplayer, learning he’d been a four-time All Star and had finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting in 1974. He even placed 13th in Most Valuable Player voting in 1975, when he hit only .252 at the plate. His nickname was Rooster.
Unfortunately, Burleson the Architect didn’t have much time to talk when I reach him today. I’ll be sure to tell him about how he once got traded for Carney Lansford when I next call.