Extraordinary Stories

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

The "So ... What Are The Chances?" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Pulled into the parking lot of the Physicians' Surgery Center, parked the car and Carol and I entered the front door.  After checking in and being told to take a seat in the waiting area, I began walking toward the seating area with Carol behind me.  Just when I was about to sit down, I looked to my left and thought I recognized the guy sitting a few seats away.  "Bobby!" I said after realizing who it really was.  Then he looked and saw Carol standing next to me and said, "Larry ... and Carol."  Bobby is one of Carol's cousins and we hadn't seen him for over 20 years.   Bobby is ten years older than Carol, but at one time we were fairly close to him.  When I first began coaching youth baseball, I got to know Bobby through Carol and finally asked if he would like to join me in coaching the Hamilton Watch team I had.  Bobby was a standout athlete in high school and was drafted by the Kansas City Athletics out of high school.  A big lefty, he played for quite a few years, reaching the AA level before hurting his arm and leaving baseball.  He and I and my cousin's husband Lance coached for a year together and managed one of the best Jr. Midget teams (ages 13-14) in Lancaster County.  
Bobby Nonnemacher is pictured in the rear row in the
center of the photo.  LDub is on the left rear and Lance
is on the right side in the rear.  The team was the Hamilton
Watch Jr. Midget Team from Lancaster, Pennsyvania.
Ted Groff is middle row, far right. Click on to see larger.
One of the players we had that year was a young pither by the name of Ted Groff.  Ted was a lefthander and Bobby naturally took him under his wing and made him a great pitcher.  Bobby coached him, privately, throughout his high school career and Ted was drafted by Minnesota out of high school.  Not quite sure how far he went in the system, but it was fun to see him from time to time when he would return to Lancaster.  Well, Bobby, Carol and I sat in the waiting room and talked until someone called out, "Bobby Nonnemacher to see Dr. Rommel."  We parted with the intent to get together soon and talk about the good ole times.  Then, after being taken back myself, Carol and I saw him in the cubical next to us.  Seems I was next in line to see Dr. Rommel.  Dr. Rommel finally made a visit with me to tell me what he was going to do today and after some conversation I mentioned his patient in the next cubicle was Carol's cousin.  And, asked him if he knew Bobby played in the minors years ago.  After some time, as Carol and I waited for me to have the my procedure, Bobby walked into the cubicle and we talked some more.  He said that he has been a patient of Dr. Rommel for years and was in for a checkup.  Told us he knows that Dr. Rommel is a fan of Cleveland Indians' third base coach Mike Sarbaugh.  Mike is a friend of Bobby and played in the Cleveland organization from 1990 to 1994.  The next year he became a coach in the organization. Bobby calls Dr. Rommel when he knows that Mike will be in Baltimore or Philadelphia so he can go and watch him play. Then Bobby said I told the Doctor that he had played at one time.  I told Bobby I couldn't believe he wouldn't have known that already.  Well, we parted one more time and I was taken back for my time with Dr. Rommel.  He thanked me, just before I went under the spell of the anesthesia,  for telling him about Bobby and his pitching career.  Seems he never knew and would now have one more reason to visit with Bobby, other than as a patient.  Hey, what are the chances of something such as that happening that made a day that I was dreading, turn out to be much more pleasant.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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