Relief pitchers Jason Grilli and Ernesto Frieri were heading for Los Angeles and Pittsburgh respectively Saturday morning after a trade between the Angels and the Pirates.
And they both learned how small the world is at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
“I’m waiting for my next flight, so I just went to a bathroom to wash my face.” Frieri told MLB.com’s Tom Singer. “First thing, I look at this guy washing his hands next to me, and I thought, ‘I think I know this guy.’
“I looked again, and he’s looking at me and goes, ‘Really? Well, I guess this is when we get to meet each other.'”
The guy, of course, was Grilli, and the two had never met before that moment.
“This is baseball. Life is crazy,” Frieri said. “That’s a huge airport, and we just got traded for each other and that’s how we meet.”
Frieri wasn’t kidding when he said O’Hare is huge. The airport has five terminals and over 100 bathrooms, so the fact that they ran into each other in that particular one is quite the coincidence.
The two wished each other well before they went to wait for their flights.
“I just said, ‘Wish you luck over there, lot of good people, you’ve got a lot of good friends; make the most of it,'” Grilli said. “For me, it was difficult leaving good friends. That’s always the hard part, and it sounded like that’s what it was for him.”
Photos via Brett Davis and Robert Mayer/USA Today Sports