Local fan, grandchild ready for trip

Published 9:07 am Friday, June 5, 2009

MONTEREY — Jeffery Paul is looking forward to traveling down to Baton Rouge today to watch the LSU Tigers take on Rice in an NCAA Super Regional.

But not as excited as his 8-year-old granddaughter Madison New.

The pair went to last weekend’s regional in Baton Rouge, and she came away with a plethora of autographs.

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“She got her a golf T-shirt with autographs including (former coach) Skip Bertman, (head coach) Paul Mainieri and several of the players,” Paul said. “Blake Dean is her idol, and she got his autograph too. She’s been an LSU fan since she knew what LSU was.”

This weekend’s trip is just the latest in a series of baseball excursions for Paul and his granddaughter.

Paul, who owned Paul’s Grocery for over 30 years before selling it last year, is taking advantage of his retirement by traveling to many LSU baseball games and the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.

“That was one of my goals when I sold the store,” Paul said. “I love baseball and it frees me up to where I can go to Hoover (for the SEC Tournament) or Omaha (for the College World Series) if I want to.”

Paul has been to just one College World Series, in 1997, which is quite a memorable one for LSU fans.

However, Paul was forced to miss the most memorable part of the series, Warren Morris’ walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning in the national championship game against Miami.

“We were up there that whole week, but we had to leave on Friday to go to my neice’s wedding in New Orleans on Saturday,” Paul said. “We were in the hotel room about to go to the church when we saw Warren Morris hit the home run. The hotel just erupted in a loud chorus when he hit it.”

While Paul said he probably won’t be going to this year’s College World Series if the Tigers make it, he will enjoy this weekend’s Super Regional with his granddaughter, and if he can get an extra ticket, her friend Rebecca Sims.

“She called me early this morning right after she woke up wondering if I got those other tickets,” Paul said. “She wants to take Rebecca and show her the ropes at an LSU game.”

They’ll be leaving at around noon today in order to get to the stadium in plenty of time for the 6 p.m. start.

“We’re really excited to go,” Paul said. “The regional atmosphere is just electric.”