Several times in this blog, I’ve mentioned the fact that my favorite ballplayer is — or, rather, was — Mike Mussina, newly retired pitcher for the Yankees (and earlier, the Orioles). Years ago, I had a web site dedicated to him, along with a discussion board. The web site itself is long gone (didn’t have time to keep the stats and photo gallery sections up to date), but the discussion board is still around. (We celebrated our 10th anniversary last month.) Mike himself knew about the web site and knows about my discussion board. Over the years, my board has hosted auctions to help raise money for his foundation, listed upcoming Mussina fan club events, and given his fans a place to hang out and talk about him in particular and the teams he played for in general.
As a member of Mike’s fan club since I first found out about it in 1997, I’ve attended 11 of his fan appreciation dinners over the years. The dinner that took place this past January was the final fan club dinner, since Mike has retired, and he did something at that dinner that absolutely blew me away.
To thank me for all of my efforts with my web site, discussion board, the fan club, and a video tribute I created for him, he presented me with one of his game issued gloves. He also gave my friend Doris a game issued glove to thank her for her own efforts in helping out with the fan club and the fan club dinners, as well as the gifts she’s given him over the years. The gloves were not game used, but they were the kind of gloves he used in games. Needless to say, Doris and I were completely shocked, amazed, touched, and thrilled beyond belief! We couldn’t believe he would do something like that for us, especially in front of the 200+ dinner attendees. My friend Linda got a photograph of the glove presentation:
(I’m the short one in the middle.)
I was truly proud of myself for not (a) crying, (b) fainting, or (c) falling on my face as I walked back to my table with the glove in my hand!
A close-up look at the glove:
I already have quite a few other items autographed by Mike, so I really didn’t need another autograph. But, of course, I had to have him sign that glove.
I do wish I’d asked him to sign the edge of the webbing, or somewhere closer to where his name is stitched. But hey, I’m still pretty thrilled with this souvenir!
I will always treasure that glove.