I’m a somewhat apologetic Phillies fan. I love my Phils. I don’t watch often enough and I don’t check their standings as close as I should, but I love them.
I watched them in 72 (I was a little kid) and they only won 59 games. Of that, 27 were won by Carlton.
I watched in 80 and their Series win. I watched in 81 and their series loss. I watched then 08 and 09 when they went to the series back to back.
I also watched them in 93 and nearly cried when Joe Carter drove one out of the park. I watched them over the next few years. My buddy and I would drive to Houston for the weekend and we would catch the Phillies as they playe
d the Astros.
d the Astros.
I would bring a few baseballs and hang out during batting practice and get the various players to sign. Those were team balls. The once clean white covers slowly became littered with blue ink. The balls have no value except as memories. I was just excited to say ‘Hey, Dutch, sign my ball?’, ‘Eisie – got a second?’, ‘Krucker can you come over for a second?’, ‘Nails! Do me a favor and sign!’ And they did. I got the big names and the journeymen. I got starters and benchwarmers.
However, I did not get Curt Schilling. My friend and I went 3 years in a row. Curt never signed for me. Granted, he signed for kids. He signed for adults that showed cleavage. But I didn’t fit either of those categories. No hard feeling.
Then for some strange quirk of fate, Curt Schilling was going to be at ComicCon. Yeah, the same ComicCon I go to in San Diego. How strange is that?
I brought a ball. I was in line to get a poster signed by him. I didn’t care about the poster promoting a video game. I just wanted to get him to finally sign my ball. When I was about 15 people back in line, I dug into my bag and fished out a ball. Schilling saw me do this. He leaned over to his handler and said something. The handler got up and walked the crowd and said that Schilling was only signing the poster.
When I got to the front of the line, I mentioned I brought a ball. I was fan. I had everyone else from the 93 team. I asked he would sign it. He signed my poster and I left.
On the plus side, I did meet a guy later that day and he said Schilling signed a ball for his 4 year old.
Then in 2016, TriStar brought Schilling to Houston. I bought a ticket. While in line, I wondered what I’d say. I thought about the 93 season. I thought about the ‘bloody sock’. Tickets left in the box office for his Dad. I thought about SDCC and the video game poster.
When I handed over my ball, Schilling just looked at me. Even though he was chatting with others the vibe was: don’t talk to me. So I didn’t say a word. I gave him the ball. I looked at him. He handed it back and we made eye contact. He hadn’t said hello. So I didn’t. I just nodded and left.
Maybe one day, we’ll share moment and chat and catch up on all of the things that a long time fan has to say.