Monday, July 26, 2010

Down under...

Living in Oshkosh, every year we have the honor of hosting the EAA AirVenture Celebration. It is widely regarded as one of the largest aviation airshows in the world. The city is crazy busy with traffic, and as a retail communications associate (fancy way of saying I sell cellular phones), I get a great chance to meet people from all over the world that are hoping to pick up some phones that work for them for the week or so.

Because people from all over the world come here, I get the variety. Some are interesting and some are not, today I had an interesting one. This gentleman came to me like the others asking me to setup a cheap phone for him to use while he was in the United States. His accent made me think about one guy and one guy only for some reason:

Dave Nilsson!

The gentleman I was helping setup a phone for was from Australia, and since it takes a bit of time to setup a phone I thought I have to ask him if he knew anything about Dave Nilsson. I asked and his eyes just lit up with pride as he told me how Dave Nilsson was almost like a rock star in Australia during his playing days. He told me about how proud baseball fans in his country were when Dave decided not to come back to the States to play ball, instead he stayed to play for the national team in 2000 and 2004.

Imagine an All-Star in 1999, not coming back to cash in on that performance. This gentleman told me about everything Dave has tried to do to promote the game in Australia, how he is a great ambassador for the game for them. I sat and listened and inside I was just as proud because Nilsson was signed as an amateur free agent in 1987 by Milwaukee. He played in over 800 games and like I said earlier was an all star in 1999. He hit .309 that year and hit 21 bombs. When he was announced as an injury replacement for the team, he became the first Australian to become an All Star.

It was neat how two complete strangers from different countries bonded for a few minutes while activating a phone over a former Milwaukee Brewer prospect and an Australian legend!

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