I waited on an nice elderly woman. As I was checking her vacuum in for its annual tuneup, I needed to ask her name, as it's not a while-you-wait service. She produced a receipt from a previous transaction, and her last name was Mackowiak. Of course, I asked if she was any relation, and it turned out she is his grandmother.
As it wasn't particularly busy (for the moment), I had the opportunity to chat with her for a few minutes, and told her of being a Pirates' fan, and how cool it was for him (and the Pirates) on that that fateful day in 2004. She lit up with pride for her grandson, and said "He's in Cleveland now," without mentioning (not knowing?) that he'd been released by the Tribe over the summer.
She also mentioned that he "loved coming home to play in Chicago, but really hated playing for Ozzie [Guillen], and that he'd rather play every day in the minors than sit on the bench making millions in the Majors," noting that his age and injuries may make that a probability for the future.She said "He just loves to play ball. He doesn't care where, or for who." I think he may get his wish, and we agreed that he might not play MLB again.
She also promised to have him send me an autographed photo, which I told her I would hang proudly next to Maz, Guy Carbonneau, Ray Nitschke, Patrick McGoohan, Jerry Vale, Orlando Merced & Ed Asner on my wall.
I'll post a pic if'n I get one.