A baseball story I love

Not sure why, but was telling this story to someone the other day. One hundred percent true.

In the spring of 2004 Sports Illustrated was itching to write a piece on Josh Beckett, who was coming off his dazzling World Series performance against the Yankees. Beckett, however, steadfastly refused to speak with the magazine. This confused me, because I’d known Josh for several years, and always found him agreeable.

I happened to be in Florida for Spring Training, and I told SI I’d go to Marlins’ camp and give it a go. I approached Josh, and he was nice. “I’ll talk to you, because we go back,” he said. “But I’m not happy with your magazine.” He explained that, during Super Bowl week, he wasn’t allowed entrance into SI’s famed bash. I found this sort of hard to believe, and later learned the problem wasn’t Beckett—but the 12 people he wanted to bring in, too.

Anyhow, that topic came and went, and we chatted a bit more when Rick Reilly, at the time the magazine’s money columnist, entered the room. I called Rick over and introduced him to Josh. Without thinking I said, “Rick, you didn’t go to the Super Bowl party did you?”

He grinned widely. “Oh, man!” he said. “It was awesome! The food was incredible! All these celebrities were there! I’ve been to Super Bowl parties before, but never one like this! Man, it was so …”

Beckett stood there, seething.