My father is the king of garage sales.
If it’s the summertime and there’s something I want, all I generally have to do is mention to him what I’m looking for and odds are he’ll have it within a month. If it’s the wintertime I generally have to wait a little longer since the baseball offseason and garage sale offseason coincide with each other.
Another great thing about my father’s garage sale dominance is that he often gets me random awesome things that I’m not expecting at all. This happened about a few months ago. I came home and found a sweet blue and gold baseball in a display case on my dresser. I took the ball out of the case and saw that it had the Royals logo emblazoned on it. I took it into the living room and asked Dad about it. He said he’d nabbed it at a garage sale and thought I could use it to get autographs sometime. When he said that, we both laughed. Let me expand on the Johnny Damon story I’ve referenced in previous posts.
I’m not much of an autograph guy. I guess I’m one of those people who worries about infringing on an athlete/famous person’s time and thusly, the one story I have about getting a Royals player’s autograph is amusing in that I did absolutely nothing to get it.
When I was ten, a friend asked me to go to a Royals game with him and his family. I was really excited and brought my glove as so many young fans inevitably do so that I could maybe catch a foul ball.
We got to the game early and my buddy wanted to go down and try to get some autographs. I was hesitant. Catching a foul ball or a batting practice ball was one thing. That action didn’t require me having to interact with and bother players and it wasn’t like they’d want the ball back.* After much cajoling and pleading, my friend convinced me to walk down to the first row near the dugout where a couple of players sat signing autographs. Seeing these players up close and personal was a little too much for me. I froze up, unable to do anything but stare silently and hold my glove close.
*Needless to say, I was a timid ten-year-old.
My friend was not so introspective.
“JOHHHHHNNNNYYY!” he screamed at Johnny Damon at the top of his lungs. Johnny looked taken aback as he finished signing an autograph for another kid and proceeded to catch the ball and black marker this crazed youngster was hurling at him. Before I knew what was happening, my friend was tearing my glove off of my hand and throwing it at Damon too. I was mortified. I wanted to melt into a puddle on the concrete. But Damon got over his initial shock and signed my friend’s baseball and my glove and tossed them back to us. I glanced at the inscription….”J (scribble scribble) D (scribble scribble).”
“This is awesome!” I thought.
Fast forward almost 13 years later and I’m holding a ball that reminds me of the time I “acquired” Johnny Damon’s autograph. I can’t help but laugh at that story. Maybe Dad’s right. Maybe I need to get some autographs this year.
I still have that glove. Maybe I’ll get that signed again too.