The blind baseball writer's version of what happened with Birbigs

Baseball writer Hal McCoy is the blind sportswriter Birbigs talks about here:

McCoy says years later Birbigs invited him to a show and gave him front row seats. His version of events:

I was there to accept the Milt Richman ‘Ya Gotta Have Heart’ award because I continued to work after I was declared legally blind.

For some reason, as entertainment for the evening, the New York writers hired comedian Mike Birbiglia. During his monologue, he said something about some baseball writers who can’t write.

When it was my turn to speak, Birbiglia had gone to the bathroom - a good move because who wants to hear a baseball writer speak?

After his bathroom visit, he stood off-stage as I spoke and I said, “Maybe some baseball writers can’t write, but it’s obvious after hearing Birbiglia that some comedians can’t tell jokes.”

As I left the microphone to return to my seat at the dais, Birbiglia was returning to his seat and we passed. He stuck out his hand to shake hands and I ignored his hand. I didn’t see it. He didn’t hear my speech so he didn’t know I am legally blind.

So when he sat down next to pitching legend Dennis Eckersley, he said, “Did you see that guy ignore my handshake?”

Said Eckersley, “- - - - him.”

Only later did Birbiglia learn of my vision problems, so he now includes that story in his act when he comes to one of his schticks, “What I should have said was nothing.” He includes it on his DVDs, too, and when he came to Dayton a few years ago he invited me to the show and gave me front row seats. He told the Dayton audience the story.

One of his schticks! Heh. What I'd really like to hear is Eckersley's version of what happened.

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