10/31/10 10:20 PM ET
Double take: 'Little Wash' meets his inspiration
Rangers manager spends time with 7-year-old look-alike
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
Hours before his Rangers played Game 4 of the World Series against the Giants -- and, fittingly, on Halloween -- Washington came face-to-face with the 7-year-old boy who has become as much of a household name around these parts as the Texas skipper himself.
"There he is," Washington said, as he brought his smaller clone out of the tunnel. "Don't we look alike?"
Strangely, they do.
Liam Roybal recently shaved the top of his head, pasted on a mustache, added some glasses and a Rangers uniform, and now many would say he looks like a miniature version of Washington. On Sunday, just before he finished his trick-or-treating, he was invited to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington to meet the taller, older version of himself.
"He's a little shy," Washington said with a big smile, "but I'm not!"
Washington seemed to look in great admiration at the kid known simply as "Little Wash," a native of Keller, Texas, who is a big Rangers fan and plays Little League (his positions are first base, second base and outfield on a team called "The Dirt Bags," he said).
"His 'stache is a little thick, but other than that, it's perfect," Washington said about Roybal, wearing a red Rangers T-shirt, white baseball pants and spikes, just like in his now-famous picture.
With that, "Little Wash" stood up and turned around to face the crowd behind him and was welcomed with a giant roar, which grew louder as he gave them the "Claw" and "Antlers."
Later, Roybal was on the field to scream "Play ball!" before the biggest game in Rangers history. And shortly after that, he took his seats along with his brother and parents to watch closely, courtesy of the Rangers.
Not a bad Halloween at all.
"He can be any baseball player he wants, he wants to be the manager," "Big Wash" said, fondly. "So it is flattering, that he can look at a ballgame and react to what a manager does, and all of a sudden here comes Halloween and he wants to dress like Ron Washington and be Ron Washington. So, that means a lot."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Gonzo and 'The Show'. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.