If you spend even a small amount of time watching sports highlights, you saw Manny Ramirez high five a fan in the outfield BETWEEN catching a fly ball and assisting on a double play. It was a hilarious “Manny being Manny” play that will be the part of Best Damn Top 50 countdowns for years to come. Fortunately, there is even a local aspect to this story, as the fan who got high-fived was an Edmond resident by the name of Randy Dunning. He was nice enough to answer a few questions for us. For that, we are willing to forgive his being a Red Sox fan. You can read the Q & A after the jump.
1. First of all, this was one of the most hilarious moments baseball has seen for awhile. Did you realize what Manny was doing as it was going on?
When it happened all I was thinking was, holy crap, heck yeah! You can see me point down to Manny after the catch. I think that was what got his attention and he saw the lone Sox fan in the midst of a bunch of Orioles fans. I had no idea he planned on jumping up the wall, but I figured he was going to do a Lambeau Leap, so I prepared to grab his arm and pull him up. As I reached out, he slapped my hand, dropped down and made a hell of a play. Thats why, I’m not sure I’d call it a high-five. Maybe more of a slap 4.
2. What was the reaction of the crowd around you afterwards?
The crowd didn’t seem to notice the high-five so much as the great play. The only one that made note of it to me was the husband and wife next to me. He was listening to the radio broadcast and told me that they’d been talking about that play for the last 10 minutes. I still couldn’t believe it happened. It was so fast. The heckling fans behind me who were yelling at him the whole game suddenly went quiet, and didn’t say much afterwards.
3. The MLB.com game recap says that “thanks to video, the moment will live forever.” What’s it like knowing that you’ll be in a famous clip sure to be shown on highlight reels for years to come?
If there was any moment in baseball I’d like to be a part of it’s a “Manny being Manny” moment. I couldn’t ask for more as a fan. He’s been my favorite player for a long time and it’s something I’ll show my kids and grandkids.
4. Did your friends/family realize it was you? Did your phone start ringing off the hook after SportsCenter aired?
I’ve been getting calls and emails since I got home last night. I got home and immediately went running like a headless chicken trying to find a way to record all the coverage. My dad called Bob Barry Jr. at channel 4 to tell them about it, and they ran a story that night and next morning. They also made note of me being Barry Switzer’s nephew. I’ve had friends from work, orangepower. com, guard, and even xboxlive call me and tell me they saw me. I even got to talk to Jim Traber on the Sports Animal.
5. What’s a guy from Edmond, Oklahoma doing in Baltimore, Maryland wearing a Boston Red Sox shirt?
I grew up in Oklahoma, but became a Sox fan at OSU thanks to my best friend Eric Hime. His whole family is from New England and he was a die hard fan. He got me watching during the 2003 season. It was a rough end to the season, but a typical baptism for a Sox fan. Then I really started following them the next season and they won the whole thing. So, I can say i’m not a bandwagon fan, but I only went through one season of heartbreak. I waited to buy my first Sox hat so it didn’t seem like a typical post-world series hat buy. The next year I bought my first jersey of my favorite player, Manny Ramirez. My first trip to Fenway came in 2006 when my parents moved to Maryland when the General Motors plant closed. My mom is the quality control director now for the Sky/Solstice plan in Wilmington, DE. I spent the Summer working at the plant and driving turbo convertables around. I took a trip up to Boston to visit Fenway and got a great experience getting the tour and getting to go on the warning track. I got to stand where Manny does during games. It was just surreal. I was nearly in tears just being there. Anyways, I came to visit my parents in Maryland for a week or so before I ship off for OCS with the Oklahoma National Guard this Summer in South Dakota. I’ll be gone for two months and my mom got me these tickets as a gift. I picked these because they would be so close to the field and the players. I had no idea how close i’d by the fourth inning. So yeah, thats why there was an Okie Sox fan in Camden.
6. Could you see any birds or small animals nesting in Manny’s dreads?
I think he has a small portion set aside for some barn swallows. If you look closely, they sweep the field and keep it clear of distracting bugs for him. The Yankees could have used them in the Cleveland game last year.
7. Last but not least, and off topic. You’re an Oklahoma State grad/fan: Thoughts on Sean Sutton getting fired? Good decision or not?
I think it’s hard to say whether it was a truly good or bad decision yet, but it had to be done. Regardless of loyalties, you could get the feeling that the program was fading fast. I think they did his dad good by giving Sean a chance, but we could all see he wasn’t ready for prime time yet. I have no doubt he has the potential to be a great coach one day, but OSU can’t wait for that day to come. They need fresh, proven blood to cut down the nets and bring another banner. Ford has all the energy and fire that a fan could want. I think we are all eagerly awaiting the next few seasons to see what he can do at a big name school. There’s a big wind of change blowing at OSU right now, and the next few years are going to be special for all sports. Speaking of which, Frank Anderson needs a big time contract extension. Cowboy baseball is back! Go Pokes! and Go Sox!