I’ll run through a whole spring sports roundup next week. But one quick, funny story worth sharing now.

Wednesday L had soccer practice and C had a softball game at the same time, at the same complex. I dropped C off at her diamond, walked L over to her field, and then returned to the softball side and dropped my chair beyond the left field fence. The girls were still warming up and I heard a group from the other team talking, in excited, high-pitched voices, about something that had to do with the Indiana Pacers. I couldn’t quite get the details, though, so forgot about it.

The game began, C’s team batted first and scored a run. In the bottom of the first, she ran out to her spot in centerfield. She saw where I was sitting and kept going until she reached the fence in front of me. She had a huge smile on her face and her eyes were wide. Something had her wound up.

“Dad!” she said. “Monte Ellis is here watching his son play baseball! He signed the jerseys of the other team. YOU HAVE TO GO GET SOMETHING SIGNED FOR ME!”

And then she ran back to her spot.

I just shook my head. The kid has never watched a Pacers game. She has no idea who Monte Ellis is. But she heard other girls got his autograph and wanted one for herself. Which I had to laugh at.

Later I found out that Ellis indeed was a couple diamonds over. A dad I know from St. P’s said his son played Ellis’ son’s team and Ellis signed autographs for all the kids that came over between innings.

Which is pretty cool. Especially given what happened to the Pacers Tuesday night.

I’ve paid almost no attention to the Pacers this year. I bet I’ve watched a total of 60 minutes of their games. Seems like every time I turned on their games they were blowing a lead at the end. So I hadn’t developed any strong feelings about Ellis, who was their big free agent signing last summer. But based on how he handled a bunch of annoying kids the day after a crushing loss, he’s now one of my very favorite Pacers.