The BASEBALL RELIQUARY Inc.
I WAS THE KID
I was the kid whose world went supernova when he discovered baseball.
I was the kid who learned the rudiments of the game by playing “catch over the roof” and Indian ball in the street.
I was the kid who fell in love with his favorite player many many years before he even thought of kissing a girl.
I was the kid whose best Christmas present ever was his very first baseball glove, a Rawlings Don Blasingame model.
I was the kid who rode his bike all over the neighborhood collecting pop bottles to earn baseball card money.
I was the kid who tried out for Little League in the days when kids got cut and cried unashamedly when they did.
I was the kid who ate uncounted bowls of cereal of dubious nutritional value to acquire the baseball cards on the backs of the boxes.
I was the kid who felt like the President being inaugurated when he made his Little League team and knew he was going to be issued a real flannel baseball uniform with a sponsor’s name on the back of it..
I was the kid who got chased out of Jake’s Newsstand downtown every spring when the new baseball annuals came out – it wasn’t my fault they were kept near the girlie magazines!
I was the kid who never flipped his baseball cards or clothes-pinned them to the spokes of his bicycle wheels.
I was the kid who pored over the rosters in the back of Street & Smith, looking for players with the same birthday as his own.
I was the kid who devoured every word of Arnold Hano’s profiles of baseball stars in Sport Magazine.
I was the kid who made spinner cards for whole teams of players for the Ethan Allen table top baseball game … and cheated to make the players of his favorite team perform better than they should have.
I was the kid who read every baseball book in the public library and turned in book reports with the paper cut into the shape of a circle with red stitches on it.
I was the kid whose bedroom was a personal … if I may use the term … “baseball reliquary,” full of pennants, Hall of Fame busts, and Hartland statues.
I was the kid who told the class when his high school history teacher went around the room asking, that what he wanted to be when he grew up was a major league baseball player.
I was the kid who went to a simplified windup as a high school pitcher, mimicking a Cardinals pitcher he saw work in the 1968 World Series.
And, yes, sad to say, while I was NOT the kid whose mother threw out his baseball cards; I was the kid who gave his cards away when he grew up and went to college.
I was the kid who
tried to savor every minute of his last college
team baseball practice;
And today I am the big kid who is thrilled to become the eighth recipient of the Tony Salin Memorial Award, and for that honor and your kind attention I thank you from the bottom of my heart.