I got a special treat today.
I did a feature on Dust Devils hitting coach Anthony Sanders (see Saturday’s edition), who earned a gold medal with the 2000 U.S. Olympic baseball team in Sydney, Australia.
I asked to talk to his 7-year-old son, Logan, in regards to how he felt about his father winning a gold medal. Of course, Anthony was a little curious to know what might come of it.
“You know, he’s seven,” Sanders said, maybe envisioning the strange and funny things that might come out of his son’s mouth.
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But I got his blessing, and I charged right ahead, calling the next day. I talked to his wife, Claudia, who was as sweet as ever and very gracious to share her thoughts about the 2000 Olympics. Claudia, by the way, gave birth to Logan during her husband’s pursuit of a medal, which believe it or not, was OK with her.
“I told him to go for it, but he’d better bring back the gold,” she said.
Anyway, after talking with her for a bit, I asked if Logan was available.
What transpired in our conversation was -- I don’t think I’m exaggerating here -- probably the funniest, cutest thing ever said in the history of the world.
We talked first about what the medal looked like.
“On the back it has an Olympic sign with all those circles on it,” he began. “It has on the back like this one angel and these horses and this man going across. On back it has letters written on it: '2000 September' and on the top of the back it says ‘baseball’.”
I wondered how many backs the medal actually had.
“And on the back it has Sydney in the background and this curvy thing right next to it,” he added.
The sweet thing is that Logan treasures the medal even more than his father does. Possibly because he was born during the Olympics, but maybe also because he has learned to really like the Olympics. And not just baseball, but ALL the Olympic sports.
“Have you been watching?,” he asked me.
This was a change. I don’t often get asked questions from those I’m questioning, but I thought it was a terrific turnabout.
“You bet I have,” I said.
“Michael Phelps has been doing good. He’s a good swimmer,” Logan said.
He’s also enjoying the diving, but he’s become a little concerned about them after they leave the platform.
You see, he doesn’t want them to hit their heads. Somewhere, Greg Louganis is smiling.
It was wonderful, because he kept sharing his thoughts and feelings with me in a way that was so touching. Because, I think, it was so unlike many of the everyday conversations I have as a reporter.
As the conversation began to wind down, he had one final thing to add about the medal.
Are you ready for this?
“The gold medal is pretty heavy,” he said.
“How heavy is it? Do you have to lift it with two hands?” I asked.
“You don’t have to lift it with two hands, but if you put it on a baby it would probably take them down,” he said, just matter-of-factly.
If you’re imagining the same thing I did, you can understand why I couldn’t respond for the next minute or so. Fortunately, Logan’s little brothers -- Marcus, 5, and Troy, 3 -- should be old enough now to handle the weight.
So what have I concluded from all this?
First, I think Anthony Sanders is lucky to have a great family with such kind and generous souls.
Second, I think Logan might have a future as an Olympic reporter, and -- with his dad’s genes -- possibly an Olympic athlete.
But finally, and most importantly, I’ve decided that I haven’t done nearly enough interviews with seven-year-olds in my lifetime.