Monday, April 19, 2010

Flan Man

Giants third base coach Tim Flannery and John Weisbarth at PETCO Park

In 1985 Tim Flannery and Jerry Royster platooned at second base for the defending National League Champion San Diego Padres. For Flan it was a career year, hitting .281 with 40 RBI and 9 hit by pitches...and I guarantee he sprinted to 1st base after all 9.

For me, it was the start of something special. I was in 4th grade at the time, playing for my Little League team in Coronado, and I absolutely feel in love with the way Flan played the game. He was the ultimate scrapper who always played the same way...with 100% heart. Think of David Eckstein with long blond hair and a surfboard.

In fact the more I learned about Flan, the more I loved him. He wasn't just a ballplayer that played the game right, he was a surfer and a musician and a guy that embodied the Southern California lifestyle (even if he was born in OK). In a word, he was my boyhood idol...okay maybe that was more then one word. Here's the point, no one can live up to the image a 10 year old boy creates in his head. Especially a 10 year old as "creative" as I was. It's just not going to happen.

So in 2004 when I learned that I would be co-hosting the Padres Pregame show with my boyhood idol Tim Flannery, I was both extremely excited and pretty damn nervous. Not nervous to meet him (I had already interviewed him a few times when he was the Padres 3rd base coach in 2002), but nervous to get to know him. What if he wasn't everything I had built him up to be...I mean how could he be.

It turns out I was right, he wasn't what I thought he was when I was 10 years old...he was so much more. The three years we spent co-hosting the Padres Pregame show were some of the best years I have had in TV. Working with Flan was great, and even though he was the newcomer to TV, he taught me so much about performing. But the real gem was getting to know him on a personal level. I mean not that many people even get to meet their boyhood idol, let alone become friends with them.

I get to do a lot of cool things because of my job...but that was easily the coolest.


  1. Great post. Remember Flan Appreciation night? I still have my pin somewhere.

  2. My childhood hero will always be Steve Garvey. I was 4 in 1984... I even own the Padres album with all the Padres songs on them.

    My most wonderful childhood moment was waiting for hours for Steve Garvey's autograph after the 1984 season... and then seeing him in person. Goofy as it is, but I was so enamored, I gave him a kiss. Now, who can say that their first kiss (other than family!) was a Padres!

  3. That's a great story Marcie...and I would love to hear that album you're talking about. I had the cassette too when I was a kid and I loved that thing. I wore it out. I remember it even had Jerry Coleman's call of the final out against the Cubs in the NLCS.

    Oh Doctor!

  4. One hopper to Nettles, over to Wiggins, AND THE PADRES HAVE THE NATIONAL LEAGUE PENNANT!! OH DOCTOR, YOU CAN HANG A STAR ON THAT BABY!!!! Never forget it. I watched Flan appreciation night on Ch 4 some years ago. I met Flan too back at Petco a during the 2005 season and gave him a pic from the 89 season (photo day), and had him autograph the other, since it did embarrass him. You are right, he is a good guy. I hope to see you guys in Seattle this year. I will be at the first 2 Padres wins if I don't get stuck with duty (army). Go Padres!! P.S. I love the "Rizz kid".