I'm not going to talk about Pauley the player. I'm so un-qualified to do that that it's laughable.
What I want to share though, is a small insight into Pauley as a person. Small sample size and all that, but it's the only one I've got and it's positive. He did things he didn't have to do, and I think he deserves to be remembered for more than being a reliever for half of the 2011 season. At least, I hope he is.
On June 29, I took my eleven year old son to his (and my) first Mariners
game. We got there just as the gates opened, found our seats, grabbed and donned our King's Court t-shirts and set off in search of autographs.
Our search took us, naturally, to the Mariners dugout. We just missed David Aardsma
but there were plenty of other players drifting around, stretching, playing catch. Surely there would be more that would come towards the masses of fans to give up the indecipherable squiggles we so desired?
And there were. Enter Jason Vargas, Brandon League
and David Pauley
Pauley spent a lot of time signing. While he was signing for my son, I told him I was his biggest fan in Australia. To this he laughed, and said "Hey, that's really cool." He then asked my step-son if he was looking forward to the game, listened patiently and intently to my very, very ADHD eleven year old son give his usual "OHMYGODTHISISSOCOOL wheeeeeeeee!!!" response, smiled and told him to enjoy the game.
All in all, we had maybe a sixty second conversation. Not just a polite hello, thank you, you're welcome or any of a thousand things he could have said but a conversation, short as it was. It took longer for him to have that brief chat than it did to sign the two autographs for us, yet he seemed happy to do it. Both before and after this I heard him have a couple of similar short exchanges with other kids, so it wasn't just an isolated act.
He wouldn't pitch in the game. The Mariners would lose to the Braves
despite a Felix start and an Ackley two run shot. But what does my very, very ADHD son remember from his first baseball game? The King's Court, Ackley's homer...
And the third thing, in his own words: "Talking to David Pauley. That guy was AWESOME!"
Good luck, David. No matter what else you do in your career you will be forever endeared to me for the memory you have given to my boy.