Friend Encounters is a weekly series featuring friends who have met celebrities.
Last summer, I got my longtime friend Jodie Schaefer to attend her first National Pro Fastpitch Chicago Bandits game. Jodie brought her teenage son Danny.
I've known Jodie since 1989, when we both worked at Lerner Newspapers. Jodie got married and raised four awesome children. We kept in touch over the years, occasionally seeing each other.
Always one of the most positive people I have ever known, Jodie quickly agreed to help me with photographs when Team USA was in Rosemont for some exhibition games. After the game, while waiting to meet some of the players, Danny joined the fun by getting a few pictures, too. I had to make sure he got Monica Abbott, one of the greatest players o all time. So for his first picture with a pro softball player, Danny went right to the top. Pretty good get for the kid!
It was a fun night and both Danny and Jodie enjoyed the game and the evening. I think I converted a coupe new fans.
The Bandits season is still about 7 months away, but with winter looming, I am already dreaming of nights at the ballpark in Rosemont. I am pretty sure I'll see Jodie back at some games.
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Monica Abbott and Danny in Rosemont, IL-July 2019.