Saturday, August 1, 2015
Friday was supposed to be a great day for me, and in many ways it was. I arrived in Baltimore, saw some old sights and connected with family. I spent the evening with my uncle Ralph (technically my former uncle I guess) whom I hadn't seen in many years. That was an unexpected and wonderful surprise. It was dinner in Little Italy and an Orioles game along with two of his sons, my cousins. Just like we'd done countless times years ago, before life got in the way of yearly trips back east.
In the middle of all that came word that Billy Pierce had passed away. That news, while not unexpected (Billy was getting up in age after all), really took a lot of the wind out of my sails.
I won't recount again how or why I grew to be such a fan of Billy Pierce. I'll just say that I'm happy that within the last year I had stopped procrastinating and sent him a note and a photo of my collection. As he never failed to do for his many fans Billy Pierce returned my note with questions answered and my items signed in that never wavering signature of his.
Before the day was out I heard from Jeff of 2x3 Heroes, the #1 Pierce collector I know and Mike McKay who isn't a blogger but is a terrific collector and generous friend (though we've never met).
I think the three of us agree that Billy Pierce knew of and appreciated his many fans. There are great signers out there among athletes old and young. None of them can top Billy Pierce. RIP