Gigi was in a better mood than this picture indicates. We were at a baseball game. We were all wearing our MontrГ©al Expos gear. Of course, the team no longer exists (MLB:Tu Fais Dur) but we are not the forgiving kind. We'll wear Expos hats or jerseys to every game we attend until I finally meet Joe Jackson or stick a pitchfork in Jeffrey Loria.
What does Gigi's sign say? Well, we were seated in right field behind the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. That meant Vladimir Guerrero was about 20 feet from us. We wanted to remind Vlad that he was still remembered by Expo fans. Mom's hand-lettered sign reads Vlad MontrГ©al Lo ExtraГ±a (Vlad: Montreal Misses You). You can't see Gigi's jersey, but she wears Vlad's number 27. (I'm partial to Willie's 24 myself.)
Gigi held up her sign as Vlad first jogged to his position. I was holding Gigi or I would have snapped a picture of the huge smile that Vlad gave her. He turned to the center fielder and yelled something we couldn't hear. The CF threw a ball to Vlad who jogged over and tossed it up to Gigi. (Of course, I called her off. I clearly had the better shot.)
This was Gigi a few seconds later. By all accounts Guerrero is shy and not prone to a lot of fan interaction. His wonderful gesture wasn't lost on the crowd around us who clapped and hooted for Vlad even though he played for the away team. (Even the idiot fan who had shouted "Guerrero you suck!" for the previous two games shut his mouth that game. I'd like to believe his heart was turned.)
The next inning we had reversed the sign and Mom had written gracias on the back. Vlad gave a shy smile this time and a quick wave to Gigi.
I know it sounds corny and smacks of commercialism, but I really do love this game. I hope Gigi continues to as she grows. It'll be nice to sit next to her and explain the infield fly rule and the difference between an automatic double and a ground rule double. At that point she'll know more than most ESPN talking heads.
(update: I fixed the title.)