Bruce Bochy laughs at the memory.
His major-league playing career having ended the season before, he’s working as player-coach for the Las Vegas team, serving as the backup catcher behind then prospect Sandy Alomar Jr. The year is 1988, and the team finds itself playing in Calgary’s Foothills Stadium on one of those days that sabotaged Triple-A baseball in that city.
“God Almighty, it’s 18 degrees [F], I couldn’t move, my hands were frozen,” Bochy recalls.
Alomar and the starting pitcher, Pete Roberts, get into an argument in the second inning. Steve Smith, the manager, “snaps” and tells Alomar to go to the clubhouse, meaning Bochy would have to come into the game to catch.
“I haven’t thrown the ball yet,” Bochy recalls. “I haven’t begun to do any stretching. I said, ‘Smitty, I’m not catching. You’re doing him a favour, sending him in there [to the warm clubhouse].’”
Smith changed his mind and Alomar remained on the frozen tundra.