2018-08-15 / Editorial & Columns

Behind the Badge

Mom, where are those baseball cards now that I need them?
By Larry G. Spence

The baseball season is about two thirds of the way through it's season that seem to get longer each year. I remember the World Series used to be in September, now it stretches well into October. I remember watching the Dodgers play and Sandy Koufax wouldn't pitch because of a Jewish Holiday.

Now baseball runs into football and even some early basketball games. The reason I'm bring up baseball with high school football about to take over the Friday night sport's news, is a couple things that happened this week.

Before we get into those happenings, I must remind you that I've shared my love of the game of baseball growing up and even to adulthood before. Stepping onto a playing field, major league, minor, or little league, or sandlot, still gives me a thrill each time it happens. I don't make the Major League games like I used to, but it's still an awesome experience for me, even when it was 112 degrees, and you're in left field seats with the sun in your eyes, like we were a few weeks ago. The noise of the crowd, the smells, the crack of the bat when it connects with the ball. You get the idea, I could go on all day.

While online yesterday, I saw where a signed baseball by 11 members of the first players inducted into the Hall of Fame brought over six hundred thousand dollars to the owner of the ball. I sent copies of the news clip to my sons. Right away I got a response from my oldest saying," Grandma threw away your retirement money didn't she?" I replied " yes, along with your inheritance." The remark was in reference to my baseball card collection I had as a young boy growing up. We didn't have all the electronics we have today, nor the money to buy them if we did. But I could afford an occasional pack of baseball cards every now and then. I amassed quite a collection, the best of the best. In the winter when it was too cold to be playing baseball outside, I would get my cards out and lay them out all over the floor and get into my own world. Sometimes, I would leave them out and then Mom would say, "If you don't pick these cards up one day I'm going to throw them into the coal stove," and I guess that's what happened because they were never found again.

Another time I came home to find the boys playing catch with my autographed Sandy Koufax baseball, not a good thing. Another time my Mickey Mantle autographed restaurant menu was given away, but that's another story. There's more, but I'm running out of room. The Cubs/Nationals game this week had a storybook ending, a walk off grand slam home run by a rookie for a 4-3 win and his father was in the stands watching. Well, I don't have the money from the autographed items, but I do have the stories and the boys and that's enough blessings! Until next time, be safe and be blessed!

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