Farewell Tour Photos

September 26, 27 2007

I’m sitting here at my computer looking at the pictures that I took in Pittsburgh just last week, and I’m still on cloud 9. We were so honored and fortunate to go to Pittsburgh and see one of the nicest, most congenial ball players of our time: Bob Wickman. He was able to spend a few hours out of his schedule to just sit and talk about things in general, and I know that we will all cherish that forever.  The down side of all this, is that Bob has decided to retire after he finishes the season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and I know that this was tough for all of us to hear.  

We first saw Bob in the afternoon as we were going into the hotel restaurant to have some lunch. As we were asking for a table, I just happened to look over, and there was Bob with his infamous big smile looking over at us and waving. We went over to see him and of course one of the first things he said was that it was good to see us, and thanks so much for coming to see him play. I really now understand why Joe Ladd and the people of Cleveland admire this man so much. Nick and I chatted with him for a while, took some pictures and he told us that he was looking forward to seeing all of us back at the bar after the game, and meet us he did indeed. We were all there waiting when the team bus arrived back at the hotel, and I think the rest of his team was trying to figure out who the heck we were. But it was obvious: we were “WICKMANS WARRIORS”…need I say anymore than that!

As Joe stated in his column about the after game meeting, it was such a great chance to talk to Bob about the game and some of the players. It’s the type of thing that you just don’t ever want to see come to an end, but as we all knew, it would soon enough. So after a couple hours of laughing, drinking beer, and of course getting autographs and pictures, it was time to leave.  We said our goodbyes, and of course, Bob thanked everyone for being there, and then he got on the elevator with Paul and his son Garrett and went to his room. Nick and I stood there for a few minutes talking with Joe and then we left to rehash in our minds just what had taken place that day.

In closing, I want to thank Joe Ladd for starting “Wickmans Warriors” and giving us in Atlanta the opportunity to be a part of it. Finally, THANK YOU BOB, for being the kind of person that you are, the family man that you are, and one of the best ball players of our time. Thank you for the “thumbs-up” and that big smile you always gave us from the bullpen…and thanks for being you.

Gary Nicolini and Nick Beatty