Wednesday, March 2, 2016

UMP DAY: OCTOBER 1968 - You're Out! Left out, that is.

Guest blogger you say?  Me you say?  I don’t know a thing about blogging!  I do however, know a thing or even two, about baseball.  That’s all.  Two things.  You know, like Thing One and Thing Two of Dr. Seuss fame; but I digress. This…is about the baseball. One very special baseball.
 
Not much to look at, it still holds a revered place in my collection…and my safe. Not because its monetary value is high…not because it’s a much sought after acquisition…in fact, no one else would even put in a bid on eBay.  But the memories invoked in its signing to me alone, are priceless.

My Mom cut this from a Little Caesar's  promotional ad for Lolich's appearance
 
Back in 1968, the Tigers - MY Tigers - won the World Series.  A mere 8 yrs. old, I didn’t know much about baseball but I knew they were “my hometown team” and that was good enough for me.  My mother, who wasn’t a huge fan, heard about a Mickey Lolich signing at the local Little Caesar’s Pizza joint.  She did what any good mother would do, she took me…and a baseball.
 
We joined the throng of others outside the door and began what was to be a 3 hour wait.  We sang a rousing chorus or two of “Take me out to the ballgame”… (she loved the peanuts and Cracker Jack part) and we visited with the fans who had come to see this legendary man.  While most of us were content to wait our turn, two teenage girls were “moving their way” up the line by visiting folks and then gradually slipping in front of them.  As we made our way closer and closer to the door,  they made their way closer and closer to us. Mom and I were just a few steps away when they took cuts in front of us.
 
She was not a woman of many words, let alone those which were deemed confrontational. While I was busy eyeing Mickey through the big store front window, they were getting the ol’ stink eye from my mom. She chose to let it - and them - go though, and then the unthinkable happened, it was our turn. The gentleman letting folks in a few at a time, opened the door and let the girls in and as he did, he spoke the words that I can still hear, “I’m sorry, but that’s the last group we can take because Mr. Loclich has another engagement. Thank you all for waiting.”
 
I went home that day a very disappointed little kid…and so did my mother. She offered to sign the baseball for me, which to me at the time, wasn’t quite as good as a real Tiger. Still, using a blue ink pen, she penned the words “Sock It To ‘Em Tigers 1968”…and bless her heart, I’m sure she had no clue, but it’s not even in the sweet spot!
 
48 years have passed and so has that sweet lady. I have other autographed baseballs and cards…but none I treasure as much as the one signed by “mama”.   Perhaps one day, I’ll own a Mickey Lolich autographed baseball but until then…”Sock It To ‘Em Tigers”!

~Cheryl
  Guest Blogger


 
 

15 comments:

  1. It's those kinds of memories that make baseball special, I think -- even if it is a bit of a negative memory from those line-jumping girls...but it's a super-positive memory of that very special woman. Great post, Cheryl!

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    1. Thanks, that's quite a compliment coming from "Thee" Tony! :) Cheryl

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Jeff! Already thinking about the next one... :)Cheryl

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  3. That's a heck of a story to come out of the gates with! Looking forward to upcoming Ump Day guest posts. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm looking forward to sharing more stories, Tim! After all, it's just like talking and some say I'm good at that. ;) Cheryl

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  4. Welcome, Cheryl. That's quite a special piece in your collection. Thanks for sharing- and great debut!

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    1. Thank you! I think the only thing I love in my collection equally, is a 1969 Topps card of Bill Freehan. Neither thing has much monetary value but they're both "keepers"! :)Cheryl

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  5. Great stuff Cheryl. I'm sure that was disheartening not to get the auto at the time, but what a story. Your Mom sounds like a great lady.

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    1. She was indeed, Matt! Thanks to her I learned to love collecting...but I'm saving that for another guest post! :) Cheryl

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  6. Great story! Thanks for sharing! Cool that you still have the ball and the memories that came with it.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the post! The ball will always be safe in the safe, but I take Gingko to keep the memory safe! ;) Cheryl

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  7. Great story. You should track down Mickey and have him sign it

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  8. Tracking down Mickey might not be as difficult at one would think...I'm actually hatching a plan this spring to get one signed by him... :) Cheryl

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  9. Hey Cheryl - I knew your stories were good! Thanks for sharing them here on ACB!

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