100 Buck Chuck

In Blog, Hustle Podcast by Eric ByrnesLeave a Comment

In 2001, I was in San Diego at the iconic Jack Murphy Stadium playing for the Oakland A’s… 

Batting practice had just concluded, and I saw this very attractive young lady holding court behind home plate… She was entertaining a group of sponsors and just seemed to have a presence about her that was incredibly warming and immensely impressive.

I sat on the dugout bench and became mesmerized as she captivated everyone’s attention. My teammate, Mark Bellhorn, then came and sat beside me then chimed in… 

“You don’t have the balls to talk to her.” 

Just as he said that, she led the group off the field and into the stands through the home side, so even if I did have the nut sack, communication was no longer possible…

As soon as we got back to the locker room, I pulled out a 100 dollar bill and gave it to Bellhorn. I told him to keep the 100 if I don’t find a way to talk to her the next day, and if I did, all I wanted was my 100 back.

The following day, BP concluded again and she was in the same spot behind home plate entertaining a different group… This time, I asked a man who was nearby to please tell the girl that I had a question and would love it if she could quickly come by the dugout. 

The man walked over, got in her ear and then with an eye roll and reluctant look, she made her way to the dugout… 

When she arrived, I figured out she was working for the Pad Squad (think community relations meet cheerleaders) and said…

“How can I help you?” 

Completely flustered, I became tongue tied for one of the first times in my life and then panicked… I frantically looked around and reacted to the first thing I saw, which was a cute little boy sitting a few feet down from me… 

“Ugh… This is my little buddy that wanted to meet you!” 

She responded…

“That’s funny, because I already know him… Hi Caden!” 

The kid then immediately chimed in… 

“Hi Tarah!” 

Damn… I was caught red handed and had no choice but to fess up…

“Sorry… I wanted to meet you but got really nervous when you walked over here so decided to use little Caden here as a prop… I’m Eric.”

Small talk ensued and we ended up meeting at In Cahoots later that night for some country line dancing and a couple of adult beverages… 

I got her number and it was a good thing because I got sent down to Sacramento the next day when I got to the ballpark.

The following week she was making a road trip to see her best friend Nicole in Berkeley, so I convinced her and her other best friend, Amanda Panda, to make a pit stop in Sacramento.

When they arrived, she was as awesome as I could have ever hoped for… That’s when Amanda broke the news that Tarah was “Miss Greater San Diego” and then revealed she was going to compete in the “Miss California” pageant the next month.

Over that month our relationship developed quickly and I even sent her flowers before the competition knowing damn well that even as awesome as she was, the chances of her winning Miss California competing against 100 other girls were slim to none… 

Guess I should have known better.

She won. 

Fast forward about 19 years, 3 kids and a lifetime worth of experiences together, I can say with the greatest conviction that I couldn’t have asked for a better wife and mother to my 3 children.

As you can probably imagine, I am not always the easiest person to deal with and if there was ever anybody on earth that has the strength, courage and stamina to keep up with my ass, it’s Tarah… 

So, why today did I decide to bore you Daily Hustlers with this sappy Jack Murphy, In Cahoots, Sac Town, Beauty Pageant love story? 

Well… Today just so happens to be Tarah’s 40th B Day and it’s a chance to celebrate somebody who constantly brightens up my life and the lives of all those who have ever spent time around her.

She is the rock of our family, an omnipotent wizard of useless knowledge and her selflessness is truly an inspiration to all of mankind… I am and will be forever grateful for the time we have spent together and whatever time we have left going forward.

People talk about the best moments in their lives and so often it is the day they got married or the day they had children… all great times that involved shared experiences with loved ones that I will never forget. That said, like everything else in life, these moments aren’t given to us, they are EARNED, and the earning process started with a cute kid named Caden and a Texas 2-Step on the day Mark Bellhorn had to chuck me back my 100 bucks…

-EB 

 

P.S. Yesterday was the official virtual release of the Let Them Play: A Triathlon Across America documentary! If you haven’t watched it yet, click the link below, get the family together, and grab some popcorn! 🍿 

Proceeds will not only benefit the Let Them Play foundation, but $1 from each sale goes directly to the Covid-19 Response Fund.

Visit LetThemPlayFilm.com or click the button below to watch now! 📽🍿