For anyone who’s ever been to Spring Training in Arizona, they’ve likely heard about Don & Charlie’s, the legendary eatery in Scottsdale. I’ve heard about it for years but never been and last night, I dined there for the first time with one of my mentors in the game of baseball.
We were there for about two hours and during that time, we saw Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Commissioner Bud Selig and so many other baseball people it was truly astonishing. Following my dinner, I stuck around for a drink with the legendary doctors, Frank Jobe and Lewis Yocum, who have probably done several thousand Tommy John surgeries between them (as well as countless other body parts they’ve put back together).
I was keeping the seat warm for Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who came straight to dinner from the airport and who also has a long history of sports clients that rivals just about anyone in the country (and is our team doctor, too). They were all joined by the medical director of the Kerlan-Jobe Surgery Center.
The place is literally covered in wall to wall sports memorabilia and apparently Ned Colletti used to go there all the time early in his career, as there’s a dish on the menu named after him.
If you make it out to Arizona, you should stop over there and check it out…just make a reservation if you can, as the place was packed all night.
So we’ve had quite a week in Dodgertown, both on and, well, on the field.
The team itself has been up and down, with plenty of drama in just 5 home games so far. We’ve had an Opening Day victory, an extra innings defeat, a walk-off win on Jackie Robinson Night, a 10-run onslaught on offense, followed by a 9-0 shutout at the hands of the ‘The Freak’. And Opening Week concluded with a dramatic come from behind win thanks to a pinch-hit home run by the one, the only, Manny Ramirez.
But the action on the field before the game has been just as exciting with appearances by Will.i.am, Leann Rimes, Frank Robinson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Don Newcombe, the American Idol finalists, a former American Idol finalist, Guillermo from Jimmy Kimmel Live, the Peetes (Holly & Rodney) and the one, the only, Slash.
Now I have a few stories to share on all of the above, but ill focus on the rockstar for now. Slash was on hand Friday, April 17th to perform the National Anthem & God Bless America. For those in attendance last fall, Slash did the same during the playoffs in 2009 before Game 2 of the NLDS and thanks to a Matt Holliday error in left, probably because the sounds of Slash’s guitar were still ringing in his ears, the Dodgers went on to win the game and take the series from the Red Birds.
On Friday, before Slash even took the field, he took a few photos with some lucky winners from our new fan club, the Boys in Blue, during a VIP meet & greet. A meet & greet that I myself would have loved to win, especially in the days of Guns ‘N Roses. Speaking of which, when I mentioned that Mr. Hudson was performing the anthem to a friend, he reminded me of another ‘cover song’ favorite performed on the Guitar and thanks to the magic of YouTube, I can share that with you now.
I can only imagine the former lead guitarist for one of the biggest rock bands of all time is used to the pre-show photo ops and I also imagine the 10 lucky winners from the Boys in Blue were a little tamer than what he’s used to. But the man knows how to meet & greet and made a few lucky fans feel VIP…and one Marketing Director.
— Josh Lukin