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.

kyle_peterson_autograph.jpg  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.

The other Kyle Peterson.jpg  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.




  1. Greg

    THat is a cool story, indeed. Being a fan of minor league baseball, I’m sure he knew who you were right away. I enjoy facebook, and find it almost addicting sometimes. Luckily, my wife enjoys it too. Haha. I do find it strange sometimes that I get random friends request from people who I have never been friends with or talked to, but we went to the same high school. Maybe they mistake me with my brother, but I accept their friendship anyway. Haha. Okay, I’m gonna send you a friend request now. 😉 Actually, I think there is a way you can set some setting so that you cannot get friend requests, making it so that only you can make a request to get friends. Oh well, I’ve rambled too long.

    Red Sox Ramblings: http://thevendahhh.mlblogs.com

  2. Jane Heller

    You’re so brave to venture into the Facebook world, Lisa. I tried it for five minutes and found myself with way too many “friends.” LOL. When Mark suggested we all sign up for Twitter, I got the shakes. I can’t keep track of my life as it is. Can we all clone ourselves so somebody else can do all this cyber-socializing for us?


  3. jimmy@jimmyscottshighandtight.com

    This just happend to me with Dave McKay through Facebook. Thought I was going to interview the 1st base coach of the Cardinals. Instead, I’d set up an interview with the president of the Yawkey Baseball League, an amateur league in Boston. Flustered, as you probably were, I talked to him for 20 minutes and learned a thing or two about amateur baseball, the Cape Cod League, and the Boston scene. When given lemons, why not make chocolate milk (something I like better than lemonade, but you get the idea)?

    Love your blog, Lisa. Almost as much as you!

  4. beesgal

    Aww, come on Lisa. . .you ARE crazy. Well, according to some folks who fall in the category of “takes one to know one.” 😉
    – Despite your fears of being cybernetically retarded in the 21st C., seems to me as though you’re doing a pretty good job of taking on the techno-pop-cultural-trend of internet-enabled social networking.
    – I guess the way I feel about all this cyber-socializing,… it is what it is. In other words, although I personally prefer face-to-face interaction over texting, cell phones, email, niche forums, chat rooms and social networking sites–it’s pretty obvious that most people prefer one-step-removed interaction. FB fits my bill as a MOR social-networking interface for MOR cultural tastes, meaning it’s likely supported by a large and diverse member base. And it does offer enough control so I feel as though I’m driving it and not the other away around.
    – Ironically perhaps, what I like about FB is the information is pull-delivered–it’s passively out there to be read or ignored at the viewer’s convenience. In other words, I can share news about my life without spamming my friends. I can offer my opinions without putting people on the defensive (hopefully) about theirs. And I can find out what’s going on in other people’s lives without pestering them for a weekly roundup. Occasionally, I even use it to find old acquaintances. 😀 – At any rate, my FB profile is less about establishing my individual territory in cyberspace than posting information I feel comfortable sharing. In short, my profile is pretty, well … unexciting, really.
    – I think the biggest drawback with FB is the services are very much as Jane puts it, done ‘for us’ (perhaps even ‘to us’). The FB engine automatically searches out and generates potential links with 6-degrees-of-separation efficiency. In very short order, your social network gets stretched across some pretty flimsy connections. A few months ago I got a friend-of-friends recommendation for someone who isn’t even a member of FB–the idea is to get a whole bunch of us to ‘poke’ this person into submission, er, …, I mean encourage them to join up.
    – Most of the FB applications strike me as more derivative than imaginative–packaged and promoted to provide a burst of novelty entertainment rather than real, long-term usefulness. How many ways can one throw stuff at/drop-kick/b*tchslap/poke/super-poke another person? How many TV series/movie characters can we resemble? How many quizzes on intelligence/sex appeal/bad haircuts/80s-garage-bands/The Office can we compare with our friends?
    – For someone who wants to exercise their creativity, FB customization tools are pretty limited. I suspect this is why genuine artists like Dana and Wayne prefer MySpace. For part-time dabblers like yours truly, I just don’t have the patience to sort through the virtual/fantasy/anime lives and wannabe wish lists to find my pals.
    – Managing my online information means staying on my toes a bit, although, in the current age of ID theft and other cyber-crimes, it seems no different than taking care how I use my credit card. As for the ‘virtual stalker’ threat, well, I guess it’s the same as not answering an unfamiliar caller ID, putting bank statements through the shredder or not clicking on an attachment/link in a questionable email. Or going even further back, it’s like tearing up the imprinted copies of credit-card receipts. (You all remember why the account number on your credit card is imprinted and not silk-screened? Why are the numbers still ‘bumpy,’ I wonder?) Or why you shouldn’t give car rides to strangers.
    – I use ‘ignore’ a lot–on people I don’t know, applications I’m not interested in, friend recommendations I don’t want, requests for information I don’t feel like sharing. In fact, I ignore many more people than I accept. I think the ability to set some personal boundaries is even more important in today’s age of 24/7, trans-oceanic connectivity. To make an analogy, something I obviously enjoy doing, my mailing address is publicly recorded with local and federal government; however it certainly doesn’t mean a person who looks it up is entitled to sit in my living room.
    – I don’t really spend lots of time hanging out on FB; I should point out though, I think this is more personal taste (eccentricity) than anything else. If my job required a lot of travel and an organizer filled with dozens of contacts, I’m sure I’d be spending a lot more time using FB to keep in touch with everyone.
    – And there you have it. A ridiculously long post about a Baby Boomer’s $0.02 worth of opinion on pop-culture. . . .BeesGal 😉

  5. guccimenmen@yahoo.cn

    Fantastic site! I may spend additional particular attention on the web site and add that for you to my own pals eventually. Appreciate it!

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