Saturday, February 03, 2007

Baseball fever

It's February, which means that pitchers and catchers will soon report to spring training.

I have two housefuls of guests - another eight people shoved in here - so this will be a brief post.

The Fates conspire to tease me with baseball coincidences. First, in our never-ending organization of papers and boxes and shelves, Elvi presented me with a baseball in a baggie. It's an official American League baseball stamped with Gene A. Budig's signature. More curiously, it's been signed in ballpoint, with a signature I could not read or recognize:

(I could not scan the ball. I didn't even try. But the above is the same signature. I added the number, which is on my ball. Bow before my l33t Photoshop skillz.)

The Budig stamp dates the ball to 1994-1999, but I was stymied. I couldn't read more than a letter or two. One of my houseguests took a look and said the first name was Roger.

Yup. It's a Roger Clemens. He wore #21 on the Red Sox (till 1996) and the Blue Jays (1997 and 1998) so I can't determine the year. Oddly, I have no recollection of getting this ball signed or from someone as a gift. Or even of stealing it.

It reminds me of another treasure I found. I was back in Montreal with my dad, 1989. We had furniture that we'd had since I was a baby, which been through two moves. I was looking through an end table drawer and at the back I found a Reggie Jackson rookie card from 1969 in perfect condition. There were no other cards in that drawer.

I can only imagine that I was a screaming three-year-old, and my mother bought me a pack of baseball cards to play with. Somehow that one pack contained a Reggie Jackson rookie card, and somehow that one card survived, somehow in near mint condition.

At the time, the heyday of baseball card speculation, I appraised the card as worth $400-$800. I gave it to my card-collecting little brother as a Bar Mitzvah present.

The second baseball coincidence of the last few days is a clip from "Late Night with Conan O'Brien", which you can view here. "Some say a waste of time, others say an incredible waste of time." Funny stuff. Love that banjo.


Blogger Jeff said...

It wasn't in near mint condition. Not even close. But thanks, anyway.

February 6, 2007 11:49 PM  

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