Some people have asked me if I ever knew anyone who became famous. I have had a few brushes with people who went on to some form of fame. One of those people was a young kid named Stanley Burrell.
In the mid-70's, my dad took my best friend Tom Skalski and me to a game between the Oakland A's and the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park. At some point in the game, we somehow found ourselves sitting next to a kid a few years older than us who claimed to be the Executive VP of the A's. We listened politely, because he had some great stories, although we didn't quite believe him. He even signed our scorebooks without us asking.
It wasn't until several years later that we realized who Burrell was. By this time, he was known as MC Hammer! Apparently Burrell grew up in Oakland and caught the eye of A's owner Charley Finley. Burrell was a batboy and unofficially the Executive VP (just as he said). Burrell was given the nickname 'Hammer' by Reggie Jackson, who felt he resembled baseball great 'Hammerin' Hank Aaron.
I am quite sure Hammer does not remember me. I don't even know how I remembered that incident. I am sure in some box somewhere, I have an autographed scorecard with 'Stanley Burrell' on it.