Most unexpected Dodgers player possible shows up to Dodger Stadium team store
When you think of the Los Angeles Dodgers' largest contracts in team history, several pitchers from the late '90s come to mind.
Apparently, right-hander Darren Dreifort saved enough from his lump sum to go on the occasional shopping spree at the scene of his career exploits.
According to one Dodger Stadium team store worker, Dreifort came in this week with his parents and "selected some merchandise," took a picture and departed, all smiles. Per reports on the scene, Dreifort was very kind.
Even weirder? Kevin Brown was outside hawking Dodger Dogs.
Dodgers starting pitcher Darren Dreifort showed up to the Dodger Stadium team store
Earnest and adorable!
Diving into Dreifort on social media in the wake of seeing this post cross my feed has given me nothing but gold.
According to the right-hander, his parents' trip out west involved a whole lot of memories -- including this never-forgotten family cooler celebrating Dreifort's alma mater, the Wichita State Shockers.
For those wondering ... nope! Dreifort was not on the '89 College World Series champions. He was drafted out of high school in 1990. He is a Wichita native, though! Turns out his parents were just lifelong fans. Imagine being the Mets and thinking you could sign him out of high school. F that! Obviously going to Wichita State, which paid off with the No. 2 overall draft slot three years later behind A-Rod. Shocker.
And, scrolling further down the ol' Twitter feed ... man, this guy really loves Wichita State! Over and over again. Gotta respect it.
Dreifort certainly had his moments for the Dodgers back in the day, living up to his high draft pick status when healthy. His exceptional season of relief in 1997 (63 innings, 63 Ks, 2.86 ERA/3.39 FIP) helped pave the way for his eventual big-money deal, a five-year, $55 million contract signed in 2001.
Fearful that another team would ink Dreifort and be able to unlock him (thanks, super agents), the Dodgers caved and paid him handsomely. It should serve as comfort to fans who felt wronged by that deal that Dreifort is still paying it forward, revisiting the stadium where he once thrived and helping to make team employees' days.
Oh, and he's also quite a good son. Lots of reasons to like this guy. Didn't expect to see him, though.