Facebook can make for unusual friends.
Being an aforementioned technophobe, it’s taken me longer than most of my friends to really “get” the how-to’s of social and/or professional networking, making the most of them, and straddling the fine line between social and professional (for me, I generally will not add people that I don’t a) know in real life, b) know through work, or c) have a reason to be connected to — in other words, I’d like to actually be able to identify all my “friends”).
That said, over the last several weeks I’ve really enjoyed getting back in touch with old friends and colleagues through the wonder that is Facebook.
Part of the way of doing that is to check the “friends” list of your “friends.” This is a tricky proposition because I don’t want to be a stalker or a random “friend collector.” But I do like to see if people I know are “on.” I am really careful, respectful and selective when it then comes to “friending” people in that manner.
(Man, I am starting to sense a desire to write a “GotMiLB Facebook Etiquette” blog … maybe that comes next?)
But I digress (what else is new?)
So while scanning some lists in this manner, I came across the name and alma mater of an old baseball friend, former pitcher and broadcaster Kyle Peterson. A former first-round pick by the Milwaukee Brewers and a Stanford University alumnus, I originally got to know Kyle both through covering him at All-Star Games and also through a mutual friend and Stanford alum, pitcher Brendan Sullivan. I’ve admired his work as he transitioned into broadcasting, and even was a source for one of his senior projects in sports journalism when he was finishing up his Stanford degree while recovering from surgery in 2000.
So when I saw Kyle Peterson/Stanford on the friend list of yet another mutual friend, also a pitcher and Stanford guy, I didn’t feel it at all out of place to hit “add as friend.”
Well, it turns out it was Kyle Peterson from Stanford, but not THAT Kyle Peterson from Stanford.
Now THIS Kyle Peterson had several options. Ignore this moron who was friending him that he had never heard of. Accept the “friending” and let said moron continue to think he was who she thought he was.
Instead, I received this note in response …
“I think you might just have me confused with Kyle Peterson, former Brewers/Stanford pitcher. I am merely Kyle Peterson, amateur baseball player and former Stanford student. Not the first time this has happened, but entertaining every time it does. I grew up loving Stanford baseball, and Kyle was pitching at Stanford when I was in Little League. Since we were both right-handered pitchers with glasses that shared the same name, he was by far my favorite player (who needs Ken Griffey Jr?). It’s still fun seeing him analyzing the College World Series. Which reminds me, if you do talk to the other Kyle Peterson, remind him he owes me a return letter from 1996. And while you’re here, if you know of any job openings in MLB, you won’t find a bigger fan of playing, talking about, or analyzing the game than me.”
After reading this, I resubmitted my “friend request,” this time because I really wanted to be Facebook friends with THIS Kyle Peterson, and he kindly accepted.
Turns out the southern California native is not only a baseball fan but a Minor League baseball fan (go California League!) and joked about his unusual childhood baseball card collection.
“I actually collected minor league baseball cards as a kid, thousands and thousands of them. Not sure why no one wanted to trade with me, but it was fun to see which guys made it.”
Peterson graduated from Stanford in 2007 with a dual degree in psychology and neuroscience, and until recently was a consultant for a “high-tech” PR firm in San Francisco. Currently between jobs, he’s thinking about moving to DC this spring.
I made him promise he’d let me take him to a Carolina League game when he comes east.