A 25 year hiatus ends - My introduction

As has always been customary for me on whatever forum I've joined over the years, I always find it proper to introduce myself to the community. Most times, said community doesn't really care one way or the other, BUT I come from an elder era where things were much different, "back then", as opposed to today. So with that being said, I wish to begin by saying, "Hello. My name is Manny", you know, like those silly stickers people wear sometimes. I'm from Massachusetts, a rabid Red Sox junky and just recently turned 52. It's been a very long time since I've collected and even payed attention to the sport that I'd learned to love as a wee lad. I could never get enough of it. I ate it, drank it, daydreamed and fantasized about it. I was a truly whacked individual about it and then along came 1994.

What a sad year for the game that was. Strikes...pffft, it hurt everybody in and around that sport and '94 for many was the straw that broke the camel's back. The powder keg created by three plus decades of anger and frustration between owners and players finally blew up. The regular season was brought to a screeching halt in August and no post season ever occurred. Tony Gwynn never got to have his day, and I'm certain he was going to be the next .400 man. I don't think there was one fan that wasn't locked into every plate appearance that man made. Nope, denied. It also ended players careers and it ended my interest in Baseball, I was totally sick of it all. I sold off and over the years basically gave away almost all of the cards that I'd amassed since I was 8-9 years old. I kind of treated baseball like a girl you dated once. You see her around from time to time, but you never say anything, you just remember the good times you had together and move on. That's how it was for 25 years, then 2018 came along.

A woman that I'd known for six years, a cleaning lady at a Federal facility I work at, started asking people if they knew how to fix a baseball glove that she had. You see, her ailing husband was dying and one of his prized possessions was a 1st Baseman's mitt he'd had from the late 60's when he was 18 or 19 years old. She'd told me a lengthy story about how during that time he'd been seen and invited by a Mets Scout for a tryout and this was the glove he'd used. Unfortunately, he never did make it, but to be thought of as good enough to have a good look at? That's a feeling I think we'd have all loved to have. He played Softball for the rest of his days on what I believe were Puerto Rican leagues in both NY and then later here in MA and that glove had been with him every step of the way.

The story she told touched me. I then began to wonder about how much I'd missed because of how angry I'd gotten with MLB 25 years earlier. That it was moments like this that drew me to the game in the first place. Baseball had meaning. The anticipation, excitement, victories, and even the defeats, but most of all, the feeling of joy just being there alongside thousands of like minded @%#$*^& insane baseball fans! I missed it, I truly missed it. Well, I told Glady to give me the glove and that I'd get it fixed. My personal goal was to have it repaired and that when the time came, not only would he have his entire family there, but they could give that old glove made anew back to him, back where it belonged. She got it to me the very next day. Suffice it to say, It was WELL used, an old MacGregor, and it was quite literally being held together by shoestrings. The webbing was separated, the mitt was bone dry, what original lace was there, were crunchy. It was beyond my skill to repair, so I sent it off to a friend in Texas for a complete overhaul which took a bit over a week. Sadly after all was completed and in the 2-3 day trip during it's return, Tomas left our world.

Naturally, the glove, though it looked great again was "raw" and now that Tomas had passed, I wanted to honor the man properly by encasing that glove with a plaque to remember him by. When I'd put everything together, I gave it to Glady on her way home from work that night and told her to open it when she got home, that it was for her and Tomas, nobody else. She called me about 30 minutes later and I'll admit that she managed to make me shed a few tears. Baseball had meaning again. Since that Fall night in '18, baseball became part of my life again. It wasn't because the Red Sox were in the post season. It wasn't because my 8 year old son had recently displayed a great interest in playing. It was because of a nice old cleaning lady that was married to the greatest baseball player she ever knew.

It's nice to be back.


Tomas's ca. '60's MacGregor 1st Baseman's Mitt


The mitt on his favorite chair and there it remains to this day according to Glady.

Comments

  • You just stored up a little treasure in heaven. Well done!

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 3,616 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That was a wonderful story, thanks for sharing and welcome to the forum.

    Hello, I'm a Joe Louis card addict.

  • samspopsamspop Posts: 1,970 ✭✭✭

    Best intro to the forum ever. Welcome Manny!

  • nam812nam812 Posts: 9,483 ✭✭✭

    We already have a Manny from Massachusetts so you'll have to leave. :)

    OK, I'm done being a jackass. Welcome to the forum, and thank you for sharing that wonderful story with us.

    I just turned 52 in August, so I understand the era of which you speak. In the 70s when the weather was nice we'd be in the schoolyard playing basketball, stickball with a spaldeen (that's my pronunciation), baseball until the cover came off (then we taped it and played more), and hiding in people's yards at night while playing ringolevio (anyone who knows that game is OK in my book).

    In the winter we played tackle football in the streets when it snowed, or hitched on the back of slow moving cars until the driver saw us in the rear view mirror. Most days after it snowed we would spend hours and hours shoveling peoples house to earn some pinball and space invaders money. It's so sad that nowadays I hardly see a kid outside playing anything no matter what the weather is.

    Back then all summer long we would drink out of an open fire hydrant when we got thirsty and never though twice about it. In today's world if my wife ever saw my daughter drink out of an open fire hydrant she would rush her to the emergency room. back then I can't remember one single kid in all my years of school that had a peanut allergy. I mean it could very well be the reason that little Timmy was choking in 3rd grade, but no one named it anything.

    Anyway welcome aboard, and with your apparent passion I hope you'll be a regular contributor here.

    So what do you/did you collect?

    Regards, Nick

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 6,571 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Welcome!

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • jeffcbayjeffcbay Posts: 8,607 ✭✭✭

    That was awesome from beginning to end... welcome!

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 3,451 ✭✭✭✭✭

    welcome aboard! that was a great first post. the nostalgia is definitely what keeps me interested in this great hobby

  • JBrulesJBrules Posts: 1,583 ✭✭✭✭

    What a great story. Welcome to the board Manny.

  • WFFLWFFL Posts: 382 ✭✭✭

    Welcome to the boards. That was a great introduction! This is a board where Yankees and Red Sox fans could share a Coke.

    Looking for autographs of sports stars. Traded with: sosasayso, Nataker,NBAsteve,JRCCRUM, TopofOhio,haliguy,YanksFan, Scott2141,Johnscottanthony, Danotorious,AirCanada,stonepran, goyanks01,thematrix31,clearandvalid, danmarinocollector,Sport1633,jbugs,biggjc,ahares,Taylor28jag,Mikefromchester,cardnyou,Mickey7,Aknot,colebear
  • FINESTKINDFINESTKIND Posts: 310 ✭✭✭

    Manny from Massachusetts ? He's a great guy then ! Welcome. :)

  • IronmanfanIronmanfan Posts: 4,977 ✭✭✭

    Uplifting story!
    RIP Tomas

    IMF

    Successful dealings with Wcsportscards94558, EagleEyeKid, SamsGirl214, Volver, DwayneDrain, Oaksey25, Griffins, Cardfan07, Etc.
  • Thanks for the welcome all, I really appreciate that. I'm looking forward to learning from everyone here and to share triumphs and failures alike. Since I got back into collecting I think I've come ahead in most deals I've struck, but twice now in the last 2 months...Oooooo, not happy with seller/dealer/promoter.

    In regard to your question nam812, I've become quite enamored with autographs and gear. Cards will always hold a place in my heart, that was part of my childhood, but there's something about the athlete, him or herself dropping that pen or sharpie on an item and scribbling their name on it that really gets me. That being said, I've collected all kinds of cool stuff such as a Dom DiMaggio auto on an old "three finger" D&M mitt, bought a '67 Spalding baseball with Yaz's autograph on it and not that abbreviated auto he's done millions of times over, but his young playing days auto, even secured a '68 Sports Illustrated poster that he'd signed too. That was a complete bear sending it to PSA/DNA! Worth it though. I am trying to finish off some old card sets I had too. During my hiatus I tried getting back into it here and there, but it never really stuck. The 2003 Fleer Focus JE set was one that I'd started and never finished, but it was one I really, really liked and I don't know why? Anyways, that's the current set I'm working on completing, Just looking for the high end "Team Colors" and "MLB Shirtified" cards right now. I keep trying to beat down this one seller on eBay that has a Tier III Jeter TC for $69. Now that the man's a HoF'r maybe it is worth it I don't know.

    Well all, thanks again for the cool welcome, but I'm off to buy some 1938 Wheaties Panels! Take care now. 8)

  • NJ80sBBCNJ80sBBC Posts: 347 ✭✭✭

    That’s one heckuva first post. Awesome and very touching story! Welcome to the Boards!

    Conundrum - Loving my unopened baseball card collection....but really like ripping too
  • pab1969pab1969 Posts: 327 ✭✭✭

    Great story. Welcome aboard.

  • Post of the year and no one will ever come close

  • Welcome back to collecting and welcome aboard.
    Chris

  • BrickBrick Posts: 4,036 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi, hello, how are ya? welcome. Great intro. :)

    Collecting 1960 Topps Baseball in PSA 8
    http://www.unisquare.com/store/brick/

    Ralph

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