PHILADELPHIA -- Marlins reliever Dan Meyer was once a member of the boo gallery here in Philadelphia. Meyer, who grew up in nearby Woodbury, NJ (about a 15 minute drive from Philly), shared a few stories with us yesterday about his childhood and what it was like coming to Veterans Stadium when he was a kid.
Meyer knows well you need to have thick skin to play in the city of brotherly love. So, when he came in to pitch in the seventh inning in Monday's 5-3 win against the Phillies, he felt right at home when the boo birds began chirping.
"I watched them boo Santa Claus when I was eight," said Meyer, referring to the infamous Eagles game in which a man dressed as Santa Claus was booed during the game. "You can be the hero one night and the next night they’ll bury you. Philly fans are known for being the hardest fans in sports. I’m a diehard Eagles fan. So, I fit right in."
Meyer, who said he attended about 5 to 10 baseball games a year growing up, admitted he used to be one of the kids who would harrass opposing pitchers during warmups. There's one story that stays with him to this day.
"When I was like 10, I was trying to harass Randy Johnson," Meyer said. "It’s kind of an embarrassing story. I was a nine year old kid. I had a baseball and I wanted him to sign it for me. He was doing his work. Now, I understand. But at the time, I wanted him to sign my ball. So, I went from being the nice kid to yelling at him. Some of the stuff I said wasn't very nice... I can only wish and hope and play as long as he has.
Would he like to ask Johnson about it when the Giants visit the Marlins June 5-8? "There’s no way he remembers it," Meyer said laughing. "It would be funny if he did. But I know I’m just a piece of dust in his life."