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The One Time I Called a Cubs Hall of Famer By the Wrong Name

This is not my proudest moment.

In college, I interned at a local TV station and had the opportunity to shadow the regular sports staff at a few baseball games. I got to hold the microphone for Paul Konerko once because I was tall enough to reach over everyone else interviewing him at his locker.

I also found myself sitting in the Cubs dugout one day right next to one of the most beloved figures in the long history of the Chicago Cubs, Billy Williams. Williams was selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in ’87 and to the MLB’s All-Century Team in 1999. He’s kind of a big deal.

Now, my dad’s a huge fan of the Cubs and of Williams. So I thought to myself, “I have to get his autograph for my dad!” So I grabbed a gameday roster from the stack of material available to the media and a blue sharpie and said:

“Hey Bernie, my dad’s a huge fan of yours. Would you mind signing this for him?”

That’s right, I called Cubs legend Billy Williams “Bernie” right to his face.

What had happened was my brain got Billy Williams mixed up with Bernie Williams, who was the center fielder for the Yankees at the time. Classic Nick.

To his credit, Billy was cool about it, responding with, “No problem. Call me Billy.”

An embarrassing memory, but a good dude!

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