Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad
Today my parents celebrate their 47th wedding anniversary. Yesterday, my father turned 72 years young. Happy Birthday Pop!
When my parents first came to the US, my father would often bring (read “drag”) his then young bride to Forbes Field to watch the Pirates. He watched legends including Koufax, Mays, Marichal and his favorite player Clemente. My mom likes to tell the story of how she almost hit Sandy Koufax with her car while he was crossing the street in Pittsburgh.
On Wednesday May 11, 1966, the San Francisco Giants, my father’s favorite team, were in town. He and my mom, who was still well over a year away from having me, went to the game, but left after the bottom of the 8th inning at the insistance of my mom. The Giants were leading 4-1 at the time. As luck would have it though, in the top of the 9th Mays hit a two-run home run that landed near my parents in the street beyond the left field wall. It was the 514th home run of Mays’ career and it set the final score at 6-1.
My father retrieved the ball and returned to the ballpark early the next day. He made his way to the visitors dugout where he met Mays and Marichal who both autographed the ball for him. That ball would be worth hundreds if not thousands today.
I say “would be” because a few years later my younger brother and I lost/destroyed the ball while playing catch with it in our backyard.
I was about six at the time, so I’m just going to blame that on my youth. My father never showed that he was upset about the loss of the ball. He tells the story almost with pride about how it was destroyed by his two oldest sons.
I hope to get my father another ball signed by both Mays and Marichal.
Middle Left and Right: photos by Joseph Brendel