It’s any fan’s dream: accidentally running into the CEO of your favorite team and unearthing news that may shake the sports community.
That’s exactly what happened to Ronny Cobb, a lifelong Giants fan who moved to Sacramento after growing up in the Bay Area.
Cobb tweeted a photo of himself posing with Giants’ CEO Larry Baer in Las Vegas on Tuesday with the caption, “dude, just met Larry Behr at the Bellagio last night. Maybe he’s in town for Bryce?!?!”
He had no idea he’d be the first to break news that the Giants were there to talk to Bryce Harper, the free-agent outfielder who spent his first seven major league seasons with the Washington Nationals.
Cobb said he was at the Bellagio in Las Vegas on Monday night looking for a snack with a friend when he realized he walked past Baer.
“I whispered to my friend, ‘I think that might be the Giants CEO, I’m going to approach him,’ ” Cobb said.
After he said he mustered up the courage to talk to Baer, Cobb said he exchanged a few words, took a photo and Baer was on his way. But Cobb suspected Baer wasn’t in town on vacation.
“I knew that Harper was a Vegas local, and being that the Super Bowl was already over and Baer was carrying his luggage around late Monday evening around midnight, it was likely he was in town to meet with Harper,” Cobb said.
Cobb tweeted out his prediction Tuesday and sent the photo to a couple of bloggers. He woke up Wednesday morning to news that Harper was meeting with Baer.
A New Jersey reporter was the second to break the news – right behind Cobb – and confirmed that the Giants were interested in pursuing Harper in a tweet Wednesday morning.
From there, the sports world went nuts. ESPN reported Friday that Giants catcher Buster Posey is looking forward to working with Harper.
“Yeah, sign him up!” Posey told ESPN. “What team out there wouldn’t want a Bryce Harper, a Manny Machado or a lot of free agents out there? I think as players, that’s what we, from the time you’re 5 years old, you aspire to play against the best competition, whether it’s in your Little League game or your high school, college, the big league level.”
Since he tweeted the photo, Cobb said that he’s received a lot of positive feedback from fans and even Giants’ officials and bloggers.
“McCovey chronicles, my favorite Giants blog, has mentioned me a few times,” Cobb said. “Even the Giants’ new GM slightly acknowledged my story in his press conference. It was a cool feeling.”
Above all else, Cobb said, it was a good moment in his lifelong Giants fandom.
“I’m just glad my hunch was right,” Cobb said. “All these years of being a baseball fanatic finally paid off.”