Dontrelle Willis has dazzled baseball fans with his funky motion and charming personality. He returns to the Bay Area tonight for the first time as a major leaguer to pitch against the Giants.
Suddenly, he’s become a huge star. There’s a great interview with him in today’s Miami Herald. The San Francisco Chronicle had a feature article that detailed how he got his unusual delivery playing with some buddies against the wall of his apartment building.
It almost didn’t happen. Because of me. But the events you are all familiar with all unfolded because I, too, once had a great interview.
After we graduated from college in 1988, my girlfriend (now my wife) Pam and I decided to go spend a year in Europe. We returned to our hometown, Alameda, a year later, broke and jobless. Pam’s brother Sam was kind enough to agree to let me stay in his apartment until I could find a job.
After three months, I still hadn’t found a job. Things were looking rough, and then the big earthquake hit. My job prospects, already slow, came to a complete halt.
Sam was nice, but I could tell I was starting to cramp his style. He had a fairly small apartment, and it didn’t look like I was going to be moving out anytime soon. Two more months passed. So when the largest apartment (of five) in the building opened up, Sam considered taking it. We went in and looked at it. It was certainly much more spacious than the old one.
That week, though, I had a job interview out at UC Berkeley, and I nailed it. It was the best interview I have ever given, to this day. I was charming and funny. I had great answers to all their questions. I made it practically impossible for them not to hire me.
So I got the job, and I moved out. Sam decided not to move, and instead, Dontrelle Willis and his mom moved in, into the apartment with the wall against which he first learned to throw that weird-looking pitch.
Every little thing you do triggers a great chain of events you can’t even begin to predict. A job interview I had at UC Berkeley set off something that may, in the end, save baseball in South Florida. If my interview had gone poorly, Sam might have moved into that apartment instead of Dontrelle, who wouldn’t have come up with that funky delivery, and Miami would not now be abuzz.
Is your favorite team in trouble? Threatening to move? Give me a job interview! I am currently unemployed, just as I was back in 1989. I need a job, I can write, and I can do magic with a computer. Take a chance! You have no idea what you are missing.