I got home last night and the concierge in my building handed me a large FedEx package, return address El Stadio de Beisbol Francisco I. Madero in Saltillo, Mexico. I must say, the team has classed up a bit in 40 years. Everything inside was polite, efficient and first class. Like getting a job offer from a major law firm.
First was a letter from the CEO of the club, Pliny Escalante Bolio. He thanked me for agreeing to participate in both the juegos de viejos and the tribute on Sunday, May 31 to Hector Quesadilla.
Then there was a note from the Managing Director of the club, one Oscar Rojas Salazar Neri, who again sincerely thanked me for my participation and then pointed me to a well-prepared sheaf of papers that included information about our accommodations while in Saltillo. We'd be staying at the Quinta Real de Saltillo, a far nicer place than I'd ever stayed before, and just a short walk to the ballpark.
Finally, there was a handwritten note from the Saraperos' new manager, Juan Rodriguez, Juan Jose Pacho, the previous manager having jumped to the Leones de Yucatan in the off-season.
"Dear Jorge," it said. "I am very much looking forward to making your pleasannt [sic] acquaintance. I too was like bread and butter with Hector and he spoke of you much before his demise, which of course was untimely. If there is anything I can do to make your time back in Saltillo more agreeable, please do not hesitate to let me know. I remain in your service."
Also in the package was an itinerary. I would be leaving on the 7:29 from LaGuardia, landing in Corpus Christi at 1:20 pm, where I'd pick up a Ford or other fine car at Avis. From there, six hours through the scruff and desert to Saltillo.
I checked the contents of my overnight bag again. I was fully packed except for my toiletries.
And then I ordered in dinner.