Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm Back With Goodies - And This One's My Favorite/A Blast from the Past

Hello again everyone! Back from Indiana after some lovely travels across the US (Ohio, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and even Detroit's airport - twice!). Busy times for me, lovely times had with family and friends, lots of cards obtained - lots to write about!

The first thing I wanted to post is something that I've actually had a while though - since 4th grade. It was my very first in person autograph and is still probably the most famous pro baseball player I've ever met in person. Not too shabby for the son of a 4th Grade Teacher at my school.

Long story short - we had three 4th grade teachers at my elementary school when I was there, two which were awesome (one was Mrs. H whom I had) and one who seemed kind of mean named Mrs. Clifford. This was the case for a large portion of the year. Then one day this "mean teacher"'s son, John, came into school to visit her class. Which ordinarily would have been no big deal except for the fact that he had just been drafted as a Catcher by the Colorado Rockies.

Cool huh? A future major leaguer IN MY SCHOOL! Word spread like wildfire that he was there, and when his mom's class went to lunch and he went to the lunchroom to sign autographs I just had to be there. A few friends and I begged our teacher for a) permission to cross the hall to the lunchroom to get the auto, b) a marker, and c) something to write on. A piece of sticky paper, a green marker, and a few minutes later, and I had returned to the classroom with this beauty:
The pin holes are from me pinning it and re-pinning it to my wall - I couldn't believe how cool this guy had been (and his signature still looks great today!). For a 22 year old to sit there and sign autos for all these elementary school kids seemed cool then and seems almost impossible now - I definitely feel lucky to have been part of the whole crazy experience. I remember him being a real nice guy too - chatted with all of us as he signed and gave us tips for playing baseball ourselves. Super cool.

Now Clifford didn't amount to much for the Rockies - he spent 2 years between 3 A ball teams, batting .209/.279/.261 in 117 games split between 1B/OF/C/3B. But even though he never got to the majors, this autograph will always remain one of my personal favorites. He made a whole bunch of 2nd-4th graders feel like rock stars for one day in 1995, and I'll never forget that.

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