Thursday, December 10, 2015

It's Good To Have Friends

Mike McKay from Chicago is a regular reader and frequent contributor to my collection. His latest package came in a couple of weeks ago. As usual he sent me a spare signed card from one of his latest TTM successes. Hall of Famer and Baltimore Colt star Ray Berry has had a reputation of being very fan friendly. Mike sent me a Swell Gum Berry that I didn't have in my collection. It finds a good home in my Colts binder.

Thinking about how good Ray Berry has been with fan requests reminds me of how lucky I was to be a Colts fan. They were such a community oriented club back in the day and players like Berry, Gino Marchetti, Lenny Moore and John Mackey all valued their relationship with the fans. When my Uncle in Baltimore talked to me about the Colts I always got the impression he was talking about family. That was cool.

Next up we have one of two custom cards that Mike sent of the legendary Steve Dalkowski. If you've never heard of Dalkowski I can only urge you to read this Hardball Times article about the Orioles' prospect (suspect) who is acknowledged by many to be the hardest (and wildest) thrower in the history of the game. Trust me it's a wonderful read even if you are familiar with the Dalkowski story. The article contains a blurb from Pat Jordan's Suitors of Spring that's worth the click, trust me.

For more amusement check out his Baseball Reference page. And note his first season as a professional. With Kingsport of the Appalachian League (D level Orioles club) he pitched 62 innings, struck out 121 hitters, walked 128 and compiled an ERA of 8.13 and had a WHIP of 2.43 while uncorking 29 wild pitches. He only gave up one homer which likely confirms the fact that it's hard to hit the ball deep when take your stance with your ass still in the on deck circle.

Here is a 2015 Topps Series Two of Cal Ripken. He recently accepted a job as adviser to the Commissioner on Youth Baseball. It's hard to believe Cal is now 55 years old. 

The best of the other things Mike included was this Memorial Stadium postcard. I can never get enough of the grand old place. Lots of memories there. This was the scene of my first 'blind date'. I'll have to tell that story sometime. It never came to anything but we've been friends and I'm still in touch with her from time to time. So much for that off the wall tangent.

Thanks again Mike. You generosity is very much appreciated. Keep your calendar open for June and maybe I can buy you a brew when I get up there to Chicago.

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