I’ve written a lot about the night I snagged Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th career hit, as well as the press conference when I gave the ball to him, but I haven’t shared much about the two weeks in between. One of the highlights was getting to show the ball to my family and friends — and believe it or not, no one appreciated it more than former adult film star Lisa Ann. She and I had attended a Mets game three days before A-Rod made history, and when I emailed her to ask if she wanted to see the ball, she replied, “UM raising BOTH hands … [HECK] yeah DUDE I can’t even believe you! I will be back in NY Sunday.”
We ended up meeting early on Monday morning, just after I finished doing this live interview on a show called Canada AM. The segment was taped in a studio in the Time Warning Center near Columbus Circle, so Lisa met me right outside:
The timing and location could not have been better. Not only did I have the ball with me because of the TV interview, but Lisa had plans for us right around the corner. Her friend Nando Di Fino, who, like her, hosts a fantasy sports radio show on Sirius XM, was on the air from 9am to 11am and invited us both to join him. Here’s Lisa pointing at a sign he’d made, directing us toward the studio:
Here are Nando and Lisa in the studio . . .
. . . and yeah, that’s a box of Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkins on the desk, courtesy of Nando. Those and a small pack of peanuts (from a vending machine at the Time Warner Center) were my breakfast.
Prior to going on the air with Nando, I was worried about my lack of knowledge about fantasy baseball. I’ve never played it — I’m too busy chasing baseballs in the stands — so what the hell was I going to talk about?
As it turned out, it wasn’t an issue. Nando asked me lots of questions about myself and the whole A-Rod experience. He and Lisa talked fantasy, and they got into other topics as well, including some fascinating stuff about the adult film industry.
During a break between segments, Nando took a photo of Lisa and me with the ball:
I figured we’d be on the air with Nando for 20 or 30 minutes, but he kept us there for the entire show! It was basically a 100-minute interview. Amazing.
Toward the end, he got me talking about fantasy by naming the hitters in his lineup and asking where I’d position myself in the stands at the various stadiums where they’d be playing. That was pretty cool. I’d never been asked that before.
After the show, I took a selfie of the three of us:
Here’s a random connection: Nando and I are both friends with Benjamin Hill — a full-time writer for minorleaguebaseball.com, who has played a huge part in my baseball experience over the past decade. Remember my first attempt at catching a baseball dropped from a helicopter? Not only was Ben there, but he had put me in touch with Jon Boswell, the Director of Media Relations for the Lowell Spinners, who allowed me to attempt the stunt at his team’s stadium.
Anyway, after wrapping things up with Nando, Lisa took me to brunch at a nearby restaurant/bakery called Maison Kayser. Here we are at a table outdoors:
Here’s a photo of Lisa getting ready to dig into her main course:
We both ordered the quiche lorraine, and hey, we both got raspberry tarts for dessert:
The meal was incredible, and the pace was slow and relaxing. One random passerby asked Lisa for a photo (she politely declined), but that was just a small distraction in our wide-ranging conversation.
You know how there are people in your life that you’ve seen 100 times, and you never have anything to say to them? Well, Lisa is the opposite. This was only the second time that we’d ever hung out, but it felt like we were old friends. I can’t explain it. She’s just super-friendly and easy to talk to, and we have a bunch of stuff in common. One thing we discussed at length was how to deal with media attention and notoriety. She is VERY much in the public eye, so it was great to hear her perspective and advice — and believe me, I needed it. Since snagging the A-Rod ball ten days earlier, my life had been a blur and was turning into a spectacle.
After the meal, Lisa took me to a hotel in midtown . . .
. . . that has a huge balcony/terrace that’s open to the public. We were pretty much the only ones out there, so we took a bunch of photos with the ball. Here she is posing with it:
Here she is photographing it on a glass shelf on the lower portion of the terrace:
This was the photo she got:
Here’s my photo of the ball with Times Square in the background:
Here’s Lisa holding the ball . . .
. . . and here’s another shot of it on the shelf:
We were there for at least half an hour — maybe even a full hour. We both had other plans in the late afternoon, but until then, we enjoyed giving the ball its own little tour of New York City.
Before we left the hotel, I took a photo of the terrace:
The terrace seemed to wrap halfway around the building, and on one side, there was a huge tent:
We didn’t go in there, but whatever. It was just nice to see.
Our next and final stop was Times Square. Here’s Lisa right in the middle of it:
Given how recognizable she is, I was surprised that she wanted to be in such a crowded area. (She got approached half a dozen times throughout the day, including an encounter with a creepy doorman who shook her hand and then kissed it as he said, “I’m a big fan of your work.”) But you know what? Times Square was great. Lisa said she feels comfortable there because of all the cops.
In the previous photo, did you notice the steps in the background? We headed up to the top for one final photo together with the ball:
Then we headed back down, carefully dodging all the tourists along the way, and headed toward the subway where we hugged goodbye. What a fun day! (Thank you, Lisa, for a great time! And to everyone reading this who’s 18 and over, follow her on Twitter at @thereallisaann. She’s always up to something fun.)
Finally, in case you’re wondering how my girlfriend, Hayley, felt about my outing with Lisa, here’s a screen shot of what she said on Twitter:
Best. Girlfriend. Ever.
She and I are not exactly the jealous type of couple, so for us, this really isn’t a big deal. If anything, it’s just funny to see how everyone else freaks out about it. Hayley is actually looking forward to meeting Lisa, who recently invited us to her comedy show in New York.