WHEN BOBBY COX SAT DOWN NEXT TO ME
In the TV business you often meet well-known people. Usually it's planned or least expected. It's a nice element of the job and it's usually a positive experience.
Bobby Cox is now retired. His Atlanta Braves were knocked out of the playoffs Monday night. With that he just ended one incredible career. The Christian Science Monitor just called him the best baseball manager ever. He's got numbers to support that claim.
When I worked at the NBC station, WLWT in Cincinnati (not WKRP - yes, everybody asks) I had a desk near a corner of the newsroom. My desk was perpendicular to another desk that we used for our "live in the newsroom" shot. The seat at that desk was about two-and-a-half feet behind my chair. We would often use that camera position for satellite interviews when out-of-town stations needed to talk to someone in Cincinnati.
One day I was working at my desk, not paying much attention to what was going on around me. I heard a deep voice behind me asking how long until the interview or something like that. It sounded kind of familiar (I had watched a lot of baseball, and a lot of baseball related TV in my days) I turned around and there, two-and-a-half feet away was Bobby Cox! The Braves must have been in town to play the Reds.
No one told me he was coming in..it was none of my business. I was just just kind of thrilled to see a legend sitting right there! I turned around and said hello, and talked to him about baseball for a minute or two. Then he did his interview I went back to writing my story and that was that.
It was unexpected....and so that made it a little more special than some of the other famous-person moments that come with the business.
He was great, very friendly and open to a quick conversation. He made my day. I hope he enjoys his retirement. He's earned it.
We'll talk again.