One of the really fun aspects of living in DC is serendipitously spotting famous people while you are out and about. Easily my biggest get was President and Mrs. Reagan. My younger sister had come to DC for the first time. Reagan’s limo came down Constitution Avenue. We ran to the edge of the street and stood alone as the small motorcade came by. My sister waved like a lunatic. Reagan spotted her, pointed at her, and waved back!
Lesser sightings occur about once per year. Earlier this summer while drinking a beer outdoors at a DC brew pub with Katie Lee, I spotted Colin Powell standing about 50 feet behind her. He and his wife Alma were posing for a picture. We traded stories about celebrity sightings. She shopped in a liquor store next to a Supreme Court justice (I forgot which one). My wife and I shopped for a TV with Dick Gephardt, former House Majority Leader.
Once in Boston my sister and I were seated at a restaurant. Sitting behind my sister at the next table was Red Sox right fielder Dwight Evans. I didn’t tell her he was there because she would have gone berserk. He had recently been beaned and was having a miserable time regaining his ability to hit. (He ultimately became a follower of the Charlie Lau/Walt Hriniak batting system and saved his career.)
I’ve also seen Stephen Stills (at Disneyland – oddly not seeing any Disney characters on a rainy day), Hillary Clinton (nearly tripped over her at a play at my daughters’ high school), Steve Case (of AOL, who took French next to me at my daughters’ Back to School night) former Senator Trent Lott (walking across Pennsylvania Avenue in front of me as I waited for a red light on Big Nellie), George Will (at a high school baseball game), sports announcer Dick Stockton (in my cab in Boston during college), Red Auerbach (in front of Boston Garden – he passed my cab up), Archibald Cox (in the Harvard subway station), Caroline Kennedy (in Harvard Yard), John Kennedy Jr. (at Brown, several times), Dan Rather (on a DC to NY shuttle flight in the seat in front of me), basketball great Willis Reed (at my high school where he was providing motivation to a misbehaving student who’s mother was a friend of Reed), Gemini and Apollo astronaut Michael Collins (on the C&O canal towpath), and Tom Hanks (riding a bike past me while filming a movie in DC before he became TOM HANKS).
There are a many others but I know them personally so they don’t really count. Also, I can’t count the head of my government agency or other celebrities who came to events at work.
So today I was out riding my bike in my neck of the woods in suburban Northern Virginia. I was riding laps in Fort Hunt Park when I spotted a man walking his dog. He was wearing a Washington Nationals t-shirt. As I rode by I said hello and he said hello back. Only then did I realize that this man is something of a DC-area celebrity. (Okay, you have to be a baseball fan to know who he is but still I thought it was pretty cool.)
Can you guess who he is?