Last night, I participated in a once in a lifetime event. It’s not often that these sorts of things come around, I believe that’s why they’re called once in a lifetime. Anyway, before I tell you what it was, I have to tell you how it came to be.
Every summer, my dad and I make a trip together to a couple of major league ballparks. You may have read about this before on this blog. The point of this event is for me to collect a hat from every major league ballpark…the ulterior motive is for my dad and I to spend some quality time together. Nothing says quality time like a drive through Iowa. Anyway, for the last few years this has been our tradition and I believe that we have both enjoyed it immensely. Well, this summer, due to forces beyond our control Aside: Okay, not completely beyond our control. I mean, I was involved in the baby making, but I’ll spare you the details we were unable to make our usual trip. Now, my parents are some of the most generous, well-meaning individuals you will ever meet. Never, and I do mean NEVER, have they let me or my sister down Aside: except that once when I locked myself out of my house and they weren’t home…but I digress and truly we have never wanted for anything in our lives. That’s not to say we’re spoiled, but we received gifts well beyond their means at times and I hope we never forget that. All of this brings me to the story of last night.
In lieu of a baseball stadium trip this summer, my parents saw fit to purchase for me a genuine Louisville Slugger, autographed by my favorite player of all time, Henry Aaron. This was no small deal. This official bat was one of a very small number created by the Louisville Slugger Factory & Museum and had both of his contract signatures on it, Henry Aaron and Hank Aaron, as well as a personal autograph by the man himself. Well, surely this was more than enough to please me and I was astounded by the gift, not the least of which because I did not expect it. However, it doesn’t end there. Last night, my dad and I went down to the Louisville Slugger Factory & Museum and enjoyed a ceremony in which Mr. Aaron was given the “Living Legend” award. This award was bestowed on him, not only because of his baseball prowess, but for the manner in which he persevered through intense racism in pursuit of one of baseball’s greatest records, and because of his work with the “Chasing the Dream” Foundation. To stand in the room with the man as he lauded one of the batmakers, Danny, telling that he had done his job well brought tears to my eyes. I was truly in awe of the man whom I’ve admired for many years. But I was even more proud to be there with my father who may never have hit a major league home run, but stands tall in my eyes and heart.
I love you Dad. And thank you very much to both you and mom for such a wonderful gift. I truly will cherish it forever.
See you in the funny papers!