Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Celebrity Sighting: That 70s Show's Don Stark

As some of you know, I spent most of the day Saturday at the ULM Softball Complex watching some excellent softball. I arrived around 11:00 am, just as the second game of the day, between UC-Santa Barbara & Northwestern  State, was about to begin. As the grounds crew finished their duties and the team's warmed up, I found a spot with a good view of the action that did not require me to sit down on ice-cold metal bleachers.

As the UCSB Gauchos got ready to take the field, I noticed a few of the team's fans greeting a gentleman who had just entered the stadium. He wore sunglasses and a baseball cap that bore the UCSB logo, but as soon as I saw him, I knew I recognized him somehow. It took a few minutes to click that, since the team was from California, the guy might well be an actor.

The man's daughter was the Gauchos' starting catcher, and had no idea her dad was there, since I heard him say he had taken the red eye from LAX to surprise her. As she took her position behind the plate, the man went up to the screen and said something to her. When the young lady turned around and saw who had said it, the smile on her face seemed to stretch from dugout to dugout.

It took some innovative research, but I finally discovered that the fella was none other than Don Stark, who played annoying neighbor Bob on That '70s Show. I've never been a huge fan of the show, but I know it was pretty popular for a while and, seriously, this is MONROE, LOUISIANA! Other than the Duck Dynasty guys, we just don't get celebrities here!
I would've recognized Mr. Stark right away
if he  still had his trademark afro!

Of course, I wanted to get an autograph and a picture with him, if at all possible, but I didn't want to interrupt him when he was watching his daughter play. I decided that after the game would probably be the best time to approach him.

After the game ended (a 5-0 Gauchos victory behind a stellar performance by tournament MVP Shelby Wisdom), Mr. Stark and the other parents and fans stayed in the bleachers. I soon discovered that they were waiting for the players to gather their equipment and leave the dugout.

Mr. Stark and his daughter had an emotional moment that I won't recount, but it did make me tear up a bit. After I observed that, there was no way I could interrupt the two of them to ask for an autograph - it was just something I couldn't bring myself to do. So, despite the fact that I left empty-handed, it's nice to put another Hollywood star on the "Good Guys" list and how many people can seriously say that they joked around with annoying neighbor Bob? ;)

1 comment:

  1. well done sir.

    The kind of people that would've gone running up to him screaming 'sign this!' make me ashamed to collect autos.