KOOOOOZ!!!!

I don’t think I’ve ever really dedicated a blog entry to this man. Which is really strange, considering that he’s my favorite Padre all-time. Now, all of you know that I am a huge fan of Trevor Hoffman, and he is one of my favorite players. But notice that he’s ONE of my faves. Yes, there is another player who holds a place in my heart. That man is Kevin Kouzmanoff.
kouz working out.jpg
kouz batting.jpg

I love that picture :)

Anyways, this guy is like my celebrity crush. Well, not really. But sort of. The main reason I love Kouz is because of his performance on the field. But I also like him because he’s a great guy off the field. I think we need a story.

It was Friday, September 21, 2007. I went down to the game with three of my friends to celebrate my birthday. We got to the game early, before the gates opened. As we were walking toward the left field gate, we stopped by this place under the Western Metal Supply Building where you can look through a tunnel out onto the field. The Padres were already on the field, so I was trying to check them out. But there was this guy coming towards us and he was blocking our view. Now, you have to understand that there was a glare coming through, so I couldn’t see the guy’s face. But then he rolled a ball under the gate. 

“What’s up?”

I instantly thought, “It’s Marcus Giles!” When I was at another game earlier that year, I had seen a different player walking on the field and I thought he was Marcus too. I though a lot of guys were Marcus that year.

Anyways, this guy was not Marcus Giles. It was Kevin Kouzmanoff. My friends and I were awestruck. We seriously didn’t say a thing to him. We just breathlessly pulled out pens and paper and he signed autographs for us. 

the old computer 749.jpg
It was so amazing. I became his biggest fan right after that. During BP that day we also got balls from the groundskeeper and got Trevor Hoffman’s autograph, so it was a pretty amazing night. The game went 14 innings, but the Padres lost 2-1. It was a sad game, but my guy had a few hits, a couple walks, and a hit-by-pitch. It was a lot of fun!

So, that act of kindness to some Padres fans made me a huge fan of him. He’s a really great guy. I love listening to interviews of him, reading articles about him, and watching interviews on him. But most of all, I love watching him play baseball. He’s a stellar third baseman, he’s got a great glove. And he’s been growing in his hitting too. But he does have a chronic back problem, so he has to work really hard to keep himself healthy and able to play. He did have to miss time in the last two seasons because of it, but he takes great care of himself. He’s kind of a quiet guy, he doesn’t talk to the media as much as some guys. I love watching him flash that leather at third. He’s good.

I love “Kooz-ing” when I’m at the ballpark. Similar to the Red Sox’s player Kevin YOOOOOUKalis, we “Kooz” whenever Kouz comes to the plate or makes a great play. It’s a lot of fun. It’s kind of sounds like we’re booing him or mooing like cows. But no. We’re “Koooooz-ing”!! Another thing, I never call him Kevin. That’s just weird. It’s just doesn’t sound right. I mean, Kevin? No, KOOOOOOOOZ!!   

Last year, I had the opportunity to go to an autograph session that Kouz was signing at. It was outdoors, probably over 100 degrees outside. It was hot!! After that encounter at the game, I was very frustrated with myself because I didn’t say anything to him. This time, I wanted to actually say something useful to him. I had no idea what, but I wanted to say something besides “hi” and “thank you”. You know, it really helps if the player is funny and outgoing. When I met AC Green last week, it was really easy to talk to him because he was really funny, and he got a conversation going. But Kouz is not outgoing enough!!! So it’s hard to talk to him. He needs to work on that. Anyways, I got his autograph without saying anything useful to him. Oh well. Maybe I was just too hot to think clearly. Hopefully I will have other chances to really talk to him. 

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There has been a teeny bit of talk that Kouz could get traded this offseason. Our rookie and highest-rated prospect, Chase Headley, is a natural third baseman, but because Kouz has that covered, Chase moved to left field last season. The Padres might eventually want their prized rookie to play his natural position. I would be devastated if they traded my dude, but I think I’m getting used to losing players. That doesn’t make it any easier. But I think Kouz will be sticking around for a while. He doesn’t get that much notice, but he’s a good player. Did you know that he hit a grand slam on the first pitch he ever saw in the major leagues, first AB and first game? Pretty incredible. He’s a great player, and great guy, and I really really like him. I hope he has a wonderful season, and hopefully his shoulder and back will be good all year. Go Kooooooooooz!!!

year in review kooz diving st.jpg  

10 Comments

kooz is very promising. I saw him play once he went 3-4 with a home run and a great play at third base.

Bob, http://bostonsports.mlblogs.com/

Kaybee,
That’s such a great story!! I have no doubt that I would be awestruck if something like that happened to me. I hope that your KOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOZ stays!
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

Kaybee – how great it is to hear of players being gracious to their fans! Sorry the Padres didn’t win on your birthday but it sounds like it was a great game anyway!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Isn’t it amazing how players can win our lifelong devotion just by being friendly and outgoing? (It doesn’t hurt if they’re cute.)

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

He is just amazing. No doubt about that. You’re lucky that he signed an autograph for you! How nice of him to do that. I want to talk to that guy soo bad. Yelling “KOOOOOOOOZ” at PETCO is our thing. I mean, everybody enjoys that! When I went to a game last June, it was against the Mets. I yelled “Koooz” like really LOUD when he was up. I literally stood up too! These two Mets fans next to me just stared at me :) Well, I didn’t feel embarassed at all. I was PROUD to yell his name!
http://hyunyoung.mlblogs.com

BOB, Kouz is VERY promising. He’s just gotten better every year. I can’t wait to see what he can do this year!!

ELIZABETH, it was pretty amazing :)

JULIA, it was a blast! But of course it would have been so much better if the Padres had won :)

JANE, oh, yes, it helps a lot that they are cute :) But of course he was very nice to us, too.

HYUN YOUNG, that’s a great story! I really don’t care what people think of me at the ballpark. I’m just going crazy for my team! He’s so amazing!! I love watching him play!!

I had a similar experience the first time I met Dan Marino…had NO clue what to say. I was totally in shock. Then, I saw him again like an hour later, and after scolding myself repeatedly for NOT talking earlier, I spewed forth an unbelievably embarrassing rant of how much I loved him and how he was my hero, etc… It was so insane, he actually cracked up laughing…so hard in fact, I thought he may pass out. Then he pat me on the shoulder and said “It’s ok…” Like, you poor, silly retarded girl…bless you and your warped little mind. Ha!!! Very nice man…he will never forget me.

Jenn
http://PhilliesPhollowers.mlblogs.com/

I hope Koooooooooooooooooooz has a good year….. Just not against my Giants! lol

~King of Cali
http://kingofcali.mlblogs.com/

I personally have no luck with getting autographs. I get a player to pose in a picture with me from to time though. I like that better. Kooz might have a good year next year, I’m keeping him in mind for my fantasy league.
http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

Hey Kaybee I interviewed the new Padres announcer, Mark Neely, my godmother’s husband, this morning! Check it out!

Bob, http://bostonsports.mlblogs.com/

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