I can’t imagine there were many fans at First Tennessee Park on Tuesday night who thought much about the fact that Robert Andino was playing second base for the visiting New Orleans Zephyrs. Aside from my call of “Dino” during one of his at-bats, the sounds of silence were all that accompanied his appearances before the Nashville crowd. I was going to make sure, however, that at least one other fan knew the significance of the name by the end of the night.
Who knew that Robert Andino was a Zephyr? Certainly not me. I settled into my seat during the first inning and noticed the last name of the opponent’s No. 2 hitter. He had already batted, but a quick search revealed that it was indeed our Andino, the most beloved .239 career hitter in Orioles team history.
I eagerly pointed out to my son that the other team’s second baseman used to play for the Orioles. I then reminded him of that fact throughout the game.
“That guy who just doubled, he used to play for the Orioles.”
“That guy who used to play for the Orioles got another hit.”
“Here’s that guy who used to play for the Orioles coming to the plate.”
Obviously, it’s not simply that Andino played for the Orioles that matters. He’s more than “that guy.” I certainly didn’t put this much effort into educating my preschooler about Jason Pridie during a prior trip to a Sounds game. A history lesson was in order.
During the late innings I pulled out my phone and shared a clip of The Curse of Andino with my son. I kept the details limited and instead focused on the emotion of the moment.
“Do you see how excited they all are?” I said as I pointed to the Orioles player piling on top of Andino. “That’s the same guy we’re watching tonight.”
Andino lead off the ninth inning on Tuesday with the score tied. I half-expected him to homer. Instead, he singled for his third hit of the night. The magic would belong to the home team as the Sounds won with a ninth-inning walk-off.
I’m tempted to say the result didn’t matter, but you never really know what kind of value a particular moment will carry for someone.