Friendly Encounters is a weekly series featuring my friends who have met celebrities.
With the Chicago Bandits about ready to start the 2018 season, it is the perfect time for this Friendly Encounter edition. Today we feature two of my favorites or three if you count Jonathan.
Pitcher Sara Moulton and outfielder Sammy Marshall are two of my all-time favorite Bandits and Jonathan is one of my favorite fans (who became friends). The trio posed with the Cowles Cup, which the Bandits won in 2015.
I love the picture, but I also get a bit sad. Sara retired after the 2016 season. She's back up in her native Minnesota, where she is the co-owner of Strike Zone Sports, a Fastpitch Training Center with a specialty in developing top pitching prospects.
I always appreciated Sara, but I gained a whole new level watching her change her life through a diet and workout regimen. Her dedication and focus was impressive and her attitude was always positive.
Sammy is equally positive. About to enter her fourth year in the NPF, she has become a star on the team and a team leader in every sense. It always amazes me how mature she is for such a young lady. Of course, her speed is also amazing, but she is a much more well-rounded player than just a speedster.
Like Sara, Jonathan also moved away from Chicago to Minnesota. I have to give props to my guy Cimags. He's a fun-loving, passionate fan. He's also a big-time grapher. I couldn't even guess how many autographs he has. We occasionally helped each other with picture-taking and getting autographs after the games. It won't be quite as much fun at the ballpark without Cimags.
I am excited about the upcoming season. I'm hoping Sara and Cimags make a return visit for a game or two. I'm also looking forward to adding many interviews to the Johngy's Beat Chicago Bandits playlist on YouTube.
Sara Moulton, Jonathan Cimaglio and Sammy Marshall in Rosemont, IL-Summer 2016.