Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My kind of guy

File this one in the "My kind of guy" department. You're going to like this story. Pull up a seat 'cause this one's on me.

Bryan Curtis has an amusing little post on Slate.com about a former Philadelphia Phillies southpaw, Don Carman, who finally got around to granting his request for an autograph --- 16 years later.

Curtis was like another guy I know. He used to send ball players letters, with cards and self addressed stamped envelopes included, asking for autographs. Every so often he'd receive one.

I laughed out loud at one of his lines. He said he figured the way to get the best response was to avoid members of the All-Star Team.

"Gods may not answer letters, but middle relievers generally do."

My favorite players as a rule were always the guys who just went out there and did their job. For every Dale Murphy and Pete Rose I loved, there was a Mark Lemke and Otis Nixon lurking in the shadows. I think my favorite pure hitter from childhood may still be Tony Gwynn.

Anyway, back to the story.

Curtis received a letter at his mother's home the other day. It was from Carman. Seems he'd been cleaning out his garage and found a box --- with about 250 letters he'd never gotten around to returning.

Carman must be a good guy because he didn't have the heart to throw the letters out. So he paid his son, Jackson, 8, to sort them. Carman then responded to each note.

One was from a man whose terminally ill wife Carman had visited in the hospital. He wrote that man a three page letter and is still waiting to hear from him.

They say baseball is a game for children. A big fan I know still gets razzed by his friends for continuing to believe in the game they all gave up years ago, after the strike.

But if what Don Carman did comes with being a kid, tell me where to sign up.

I think I have a new favorite baseball player...

The entire Slate article can be read here: http://www.slate.com/id/2154698

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