Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Babe Ruth comes to Halls

The standing joke around the office is that Halls is a lot like Mayberry.

We mean that in a good way. Folks stop by to talk. Jay Newcomb and Tud Etherton bring fresh vegetables from their gardens. It's fun.

Babe Ruth dropped by today. OK, not the real Yankee slugger. He's been dead a good many years now.

But Bill Phillips brought by a baseball autographed by the Sultan of Swat. I felt like I was touching royalty. Ain't that silly?

Bill bought the ball off a guy in upper East Tennessee. He says it's been in the family a lot of years. The ball was originally won as part of a contest and also features then-baseball commissioner Ford Frick's John Hancock.

Halls guy Doug Harned, who had dropped by to give me a t-shirt from Yellowstone National Park, says he thinks the autograph is legit.

"I'm about 70 percent certain you've got the real thing," he tells Bill.

Bill has been in touch with the Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore. They want to authenticate the ball. Bill doesn't want to send it through the mail. He says he might just drive up there.

I wouldn't let it out of my sight, either. The hand that signed it once hit 714 home runs.

And guess what? No steroids were involved. Just plenty of beer and hot dogs.

So that was my morning at the office. Don't even try to convince me that I don't have the best job in the world.


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