A recent post by Catalyst @ http://oddballobservations.blogspot.com/2015/05/a-ball-game-surprise.html reminded me of almost every American kid’s dream, to get a foul ball at a major league baseball game. Little Leaguers routinely bring their glove to games with hopes of snagging a piece of their own baseball history. One such young man used his glove to turn a final out of a playoff game against the Orioles into a Derek Jeter home run and a New York Yankee win.
Anyway...I only went to a few games as a boy and never got close to that foul ball catching dream. My middle son did once get a ball. He went to a Yankee game with a friend and his dad, and he retrieved a ball during batting practice. He thought it was cool. I was happy for him. I was a extra excited myself when I saw the ball was autographed by Derek Jeter.
It is not unusual for players to sign balls during batting practice.
When my son moved out, he took a lot of stuff, but he didn’t seem too interested in this autographed ball. I saved it; I was not going to let that ball get lost. A Derek Jeter ball might actually be valuable some day.
I put the ball in a box with some other stuff that was my son’s and then forgot about it. A few years ago I was cleaning stuff out and saw the box and found the ball. My son may have forgotten about the ball, but a Derek Jeter autographed ball would someday be meaningful and might even be valuable. For sure his two boys would be interested in such a treasure.
I thought I would do something special, and purchased one of those plastic baseball displays that I’ve seen other people use to protect a special and or valuable baseball.
I put the ball in the display, autograph side up and the next time I visited my son I presented him with the ball that I was sure he had forgotten or assumed was lost.
“What is this?”
“It’s that ball you recovered in batting practice years ago. Bet you thought it was lost.”
“No, but it’s just a ball.”
“Just a ball? Just a ball autographed by Derek Jeter!”
“That’s not Jeter’s autograph.”
“No? Whose is it?”
“It’s not even an autograph. When I got home I took a marker and wrote Derek Jeter on it because that is who hit it in batting practice. Jeter never even tipped his hat to me.”
First time a kid ever disappointed his dad with a fake autograph.