By Bob Elliott
MESA, Az. _ Oakland A’s photographer Michael Zagaris has been around for a while.
And next to his A’s, one of his favorite teams was the 1992 World Series champion Blue Jays.
Shooting the World Series for MLB Productions he complimented infielder Manuel Lee on his ward robe after pinch hitter Ed Sprague had homered to win Game 2 in Atlanta sending the Series to the SkyDome even.
“Manny was wearing a real sharp, canary yellow Caribbean shirt,” said Zagaris. “I told him I want one like that.”
After an off day, Lee was taking batting practice before Game 3 when the infielder spotted the photographer from inside the batting cage
“Did you get my present?” Lee asked. “It’s on my stool in the clubhouse, it’s for you. Go get it.”
Zagarais went in and there was a new, canary, yellow Caribbean shirt sealed in a package.
“The price tag was still on it … I forget exactly, but it was over $300,” said Zagarais, who returned to the field and told Lee he couldn’t take it.
When Lee left, the ever-observant, Kelly Gruber asked the photographer what was up? So Zagaris told how he’d complimented Lee on his shirt, how Lee went out and bought him one exactly the same.
“You should have told Manny …,” Gruber said in his Texas drawl, “that you liked his car.”