I met Carroll during the 2008 spring training. While watching Albert Pujols and eating hot dogs, we sat in the sun and discussed how Judy Garland recruited him to Munchkinland, how his voice was the one screaming "Doorothee!" during the twister scene, and how much he enjoyed coming to Florida for the winters: "Anything beats shuffling a driveway 20 degrees below zero," he said in his speedy, high-pitched voice. I still have the photo he autographed for me on the wall of my cubicle--Carroll had a stack of Wizard of Oz photos with him everywhere he went and he often wore a button from the movie's 50th anniversary.
Which stories were true and which were embellishments isn't important - that is one of those benefits afforded the few who outlive the other participants of history.
Meeting him is one of those odd moments in life that I'll never forget. Carroll was one of those fantastic trivia questions come to life, and he embraced it. "You make one movie your whole life, and it happens to be a hit," he joked. "Go figure."
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