Friday, October 10, 2014

Martina Navratilova Honored in New York City

Had the enormous pleasure the other night of meeting Martina Navratilova, a woman I grew up admiring yet rooting against -- Chris! Tracy! Andrea! -- but have come to realize is one of the most remarkable people I've ever known of. Martina was being honored along with Jason Collins, Yogi Berra and James Blake at the inaugural Athlete Ally Action Awards here in New York City. While the organization's motivations have been called into question, there was no doubt I was in the company of a woman of enormous integrity. What a thrill!

MN with host Thomas Roberts

Who says we don't need another hero?

Honoree Jason Collins

Honoree James Blake

I was in total Fan Boy mode, babbling on and on about having the poster of her with the Bancroft Players Special on my bedroom wall when I was 10, and seeing her play in the '70s at the Virginia Slims and Avon Championships of Detroit ... it wasn't cute but she indulged me!

Yogi Berra's granddaughter, Hudson Yates, James Blake, Jason Collins and Thomas Roberts

Aussie doubles great Rennae Stubbs was great to chat with

James Blake is retired now and a new father, but as handsome (and sweet) as ever

Was also thrilled to meet Andrew Tobias, whose 1970s gay memoir, "The Best Little Boy in the World," is a must-read for LGBT historians and the like


I'd be his catcher any day of the week

The funniest part of the evening was that Yankees pitcher Brandon McCarthy was there. I had no idea who he was until about three days before when word leaked out that used pairs of Derek Jeter's socks were being sold by the ball club, to which I replied: No thanks, but I'd be willing to pay a lot more for a pair of Brandon McCarthy's! I'd quickly looked at the player roster and singled him out and voila, there he was standing next to me later in the week. I didn't bring it up! What a handsome guy -- and a straight ally to boot.

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