Category Archives: News

T-shirt

T-Shirt Lost, Found, Remembered

Do you have a routine, habit, or tendency that was or has become a part of your normal, everyday life? It could be health, financial, or family related. It may have sprung from youth or from a coincidence. Perhaps the outcome of a situation weighed in the balance, and you noticed that one small act or a seemingly inconsequential moment had things fall neatly into place. We have all experienced such occurrences. (Except Mrs. V)

Recently, while reorganizing, I happened upon an old container housing items not seen in close to 30 years. Baseball cards, magazines, and other keepsakes and mementos. All of the items brought with them a flood of memories and moments. One piece, in particular, was a part of my youth that brought with it a feeling of security and memories of victories past.

A small youth T-shirt was the treasure discovered. The shirt is flimsy and almost transparent, but did it pack a punch in the day. My journey through youth and young adulthood with this shirt began in the summer of ’76. My father took me to the local minor league stadium to see the hometown “Williamsport Tomahawks“, A double AA farm team of the Cleveland Indians. They played in Williamsport PA for only one summer. (During that summer they brought in HOF’er Bob Feller for a promotional appearance.) The club gave away a “Williamsport Tomahawks” T-shirt. It was handed to us…not shot from a launcher.

T-shirt
Williamsport Tomahawks T-shirt.

Hmmm…onto something with this T-shirt.

The first time I wore the T-shirt was as an undershirt to my Little League Baseball uniform, I got two doubles. Never did I play another game without the shirt. When I out grew the shirt, I would fold and carry it in my pocket. I carried it in every game I ever played. My teams had wonderful success thanks to that T-shirt….and to a smaller degree, the coaches, teammates, parents, and supporters.

Sometime during junior high school, it must have occurred to me to parlay the beneficial properties of the T-shirt into schoolwork. Thus, my T-shirt would find its way to school, neatly tucked in my back pocket for every IMPORTANT test. I did not utilize it for all tests…just the tests that were deemed critical. Would not want to use up all of whatever that shirt emanated. It NEVER let me down. It was with me the day I graduated college. I thought of it from time to time but lost track of it until recently. It will stay retired and keep a perfect record in tact.

T-shirt
A fine, quality, financial institution sponsored the giveaway.

Ridiculous….maybe. Could be that it was easier to put faith in the T-shirt than in myself. But, I will say, in a world that is results driven, that T-shirt delivered. To quote George Costanza’s statement to Jerry. “Just remember….It’s not a lie…if YOU believe it.

I CHOSE to believe….and still do.

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A Foul Ball in the Hand is Worth Two that were Bungled

Of Foul Balls Past

There is an elite category of baseball fans that have always been the aim of my inner jealousy and silent resentment. Some of us have relatives or friends that fall into this category. Those are the few and the lucky who have gotten foul balls, home run balls, or game balls tossed to them from players or coaches. In the past, two foul balls have been close enough for me to nab. One sad occurrence happened at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. A foul ball hopped up the steps between sections and went though my legs….and it was moving rather slow. Just like Bill Buckner.

Painful Memory of the Straw

The second more painful and vivid occurred at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. My seat was a few rows behind home plate. Darryl Strawberry hit a towering foul ball directly above me. It bounced off my hands and flew about five rows behind me. It left stitch marks on my left hand. This episode nurtured angst within me for 30 years….until Wilmer came to town.

Right Place at the Right Time

The Mets and the Phillies squared off in the 2018 MLB Little League Classic. This game takes place at Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport Pa. The stadium has a capacity of just under 2400. The main guest of honor is Little League Baseball, including the teams from around the USA and the world playing in the Little League World Series. The World Series Complex is located just across the Susquehanna River in South Williamsport. Tickets for the public are very scarce. I was blessed by a dear friend who was granted two tickets. (He is a Cubs fan and will have the chance to see them play in the 2019 MLB Little League Classic).

Mrs. V and I were nine rows back from the Mets dugout on the third base side. At the end of the second inning, Wilmer Flores, who was playing first base, took a throw for the third out. As he entered the dugout, he tossed the ball into the stands. It seemed to pass through a sea of hands and bounded off of Mrs. V’s leg and…..LANDED AT MY FEET!

Game Used Ball

I am now in that elite category of baseball fans who have jealousy and resentment quietly aimed at them…(at least in my imagination). My dismal memories of foul balls past, no longer have the same hold over me. All thanks to Wilmer Flores and some light bruising to my wife’s leg.

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A few photographs of the MLB Little League Classic:

Jeff McNeil

Thor with the fistbump.

Seth Lugo and Kevin Plawecki

Mr Met just missed Mrs. V.

MLB Little League Classic Banner

Michael Conforto signing.

A few of the Mets starting pitchers mingling w/ the Little Leaguers.

Nicknames

Pregame Ceremony

Omar Minaya and I

 

 

 

 

 

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The National

The 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention–Small Photo Gallery

The National

There are certain places or events that we may visit or attend that will utterly envelop our imaginations. There are places of spiritual significance, historical significance, and places where we are lost in thought and fantasy. Entering into the National Sports Collectors Convention elicits feelings of joy, hope and wonder. Sports collectibles are front and center for five days at this annual gathering. It has been said of the National, “if you can’t find what you’re looking for at the National, it probably doesn’t exist.” A statement like that sets the convention up for failure, but year in and year out, it ascends beyond all expectations.

Cleveland was the star

This year’s convention was held on August 1st thru August 5th, at the IX Center in Cleveland Ohio. A facility massive enough to comfortably hold an event the size and scope of the National. It all begins at the very first booth.  You will be completely absorbed from the moment you enter. You never know what vintage treasure is waiting around the corner. Check out this short video.

The National Sports Collectors Convention is scheduled for Chicago in 2019 and Atlantic City in 2020. There may be reasons to not go…but there are many more reasons to go. There is nothing like it in the realm of sports collectibles.

 

The National

First person I met at the National…in the parking lot. I knew it would be a great show.

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1909 Sweet Corporal Honus Wagner. $$$$$

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1952 Topps Mickey Mantle. $$$$$

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Looks like the Land of Misfit Toys.

The National

“Field of Dreams”. This is the dad at the end of the movie. Ray has a catch with him.

The National

Ferris Wheel in the middle of the convention floor. It goes THRU the roof.

The National

Early 1960’s New York Titans sideline coat.

The National

1945 NFL Championship Press Pin. (Cleveland Rams)

The National

Cigarette Cards from 1909-1911

The National

Pennants and more Pennants

The National

Program from the “Win One for the Gipper” game.

The National

All Kinds of Hardware

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Notre Dame Stadium seat signed by “Rudy”

The National

Curling

The National

Colt 45’s jersey

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Pennants

The National

More Pennants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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