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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Baseball stuff

My favorite baseball story. Marc took Lizzie to see the Mets play. She must have been about 11. They went very early to the game, and at that time, if you went really early, you could get into the field level in the old Shea Stadium to sit and watch batting practice up-close and personal.

After batting practice was over and the players were leaving the field, the onlookers began calling to the players to come over to sign autographs. Some of the players would do this, but not many. Mike Piazza was on the team at the time. He was so very popular, and my husband told me that everyone was calling to him, but as was his habit, he walked away without signing anything. On this day, however, he threw his batting gloves at the waiting crowd of people. My daughter ran after Piazza's gloves and dived down through the stadium seats, emerging in triumph with one of the prized gloves in her hands. She walked proudly to her dad clutching the glove and my husband told her that she'd just retrieved a collector's item that would be unbelievably valuable in the future. He then offered her $25 for the glove. She took the money, he took the glove and they went to sit in their seats to watch the game and bask in the glow of a job well-done.

A couple of years later Marc took our other daughter on a long weekend trip to watch the Mets at spring practice in Port St.Lucie, Florida. Laura was excited to go, being at the age of 9, as big a baseball fan as her dad. She knew players' names and numbers and positions, and would accompany her dad faithfully to as many games as we'd allow her to go to. She and her dad took the infamous batting glove on the trip with them. Marc's stategy was something like this: Laura would be sent out as a decoy and ask Mike Piazza to autograph the very same batting glove collected by our older daughter. Marc thought that because Laura was so very tiny and cute and utterly adorable, this plan couldn't fail. As it turns out, he was right. Piazza signed at the last possible moment before he left the field. Marc and Laura returned home with their prize and told and re-told, in two-part harmony, the story of the baseball glove signing; they were so excited.

Some time later, Marc had the glove PSA tested and certified. It now sits in a place of honor, under fully-alarmed, bullet-proof glass, and from time to time when we're all together, my family will re-tell the story of the glove, from beginning to end, and for me, that is the real treasure.

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