Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Heat of a Texas Autograph

For all of my Texas readers, and in recognition of your hottest summer in 40 years, this entry is for you.  As I am watching the Rangers game tonight I started thinking. "One aspect of my collection I'm missing, are autographs from famous Texas personalities, athletes and politicians".  In fact, as I started walking around my room I started to realize what I had ( Texas Natives; Roger Clemens, Josh Beckett, and Clay Buchholz) and  current Rangers David Murphy and Josh Hamilton. That is all. 

Roger Clemens Signed Baseball
 So I started making my hottest Texas athlete, personality, or native autograph wish list:

1.  Larry Hagman: Who wouldn't want an autographed photo of JR.  I'm sure I can find an authentic one on EBAY or from dealers in Texas.
2.  Any Dallas Cowboy:  We don't see the cowboys signing autographs in New England, but when I see any Cowboy is making an appearance around the country they are very popular and expensive.
3.  Nolan Ryan:  His autograph is one of the hardest to acquire in baseball.  He rarely signs and when he does he does it in a limited fashion.
4.  Either of the George Bush's, Lyndon Johnson and Dwight Eisenhower:  Presidential autographs are always valuable and generally rare.  Despite their issues in office, I'd be thrilled to have something signed from any of them.  (Their autographs are not as hard to get as everyone thinks).
5.  Jerry Jones:  NFL owners rarely sign autographs and are generally not worth it, but getting one from the most charismatic owner in sports is.  He truly is the heart of the Cowboys and would be a great addition for any collector.
6.  Dirk Nowitzki, David Robinson and Tim Duncan:  They brought NBA championships to their respective Texas cities and almost never make autograph appearances.  They are equal to Boston's Larry Bird, Paul Pierce, and Kevin McHale in terms of basketball autograph rarity and popularity.
7.  For you wrestling fans, nobody can beat the popularity of Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Undertaker and the showstopper Shawn Michaels.  These two ruled wrestling in the 90's and are amongst the hardest wrestler autographs to acquire.

On the honorable mention list are:
Craig Biggio
Dennis Rodman
Tom Kite
Ben Hogan
George Gervin
Labonte Brothers

Hopefully, in the near future, I'll acquire some of these and make sure Texas is better represented in a cool and comfortable Massachusetts home.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A New Perspective

Elizabeth and I at the Sox Game.

It's rare that I don't follow my normal pre-game, game time and post game routine when I attend a game at Fenway, or for that matter any other ballpark.  I want to take advantage of every opportunity to get an autograph, take in the atmosphere, eat at my leisure, keep score and enjoy friendly conversation.

However, I made an exception to this routine this past Thursday night.  While my daughter has been to Fenway many, many times, it's usually with my wife and sister or my wife and me, etc...  I had never taken her alone to a game.  I knew going in, this meant no keeping score, no autographs, probably missing a portion of the game, and maybe leaving early.

This night was about the pizza, the balloon artist, seeing Wally the green monster in the 3rd inning, snuggling in our seats, reading a book, playing in the kids area, exploring the team store and long shoulder rides to and from the car while singing silly songs.  This night was about paying attention to 3 innings of a game, and pretending to keep score, (Yes Elizabeth knows how to keep score and could recite plays back to me).  It was about finding a safe family restroom.  It was about holding a my little girl's hand, while navigating the crowded Fenway concourses to find our destination.

This night made me realize it's sometimes wise to place what we take for granted in perspective.  Made me realize that this isn't about what I want to do, or about the result in the game ( I honestly don't know who won, we left in the 5th inning, 2 hours into the game).  This is about spending time with a loved one (in this case my daughter), and just have a good time and live the experience through her eyes

Nothing made me happier than we when we arrived back at the truck and she said, "Dad, I'm sorry you didn't get any autographs, would you like my Wally autograph?".  I said, "how about a hug?".  Then her little arms squeezed me tight and the drive home didn't seem so long.

Elizabeth with her Ariel Balloon.