Today Wallet Card and I went out to the Baseball Reliquary's annual induction of honorees into the "other Hall of Fame", the Shrine of the Eternals.
But that's a story for another post. THIS post is about me running into one of my baseball heroes - my first favorite Dodger!
Before Steve Garvey was the iron man at first base for the Dodgers, there was Wes Parker - a southpaw just like me.
So there I was, sitting in the auditorium, awaiting the start of ceremonies, when the guy sitting next to me (who will also be featured in a future post), taps me on the shoulder and asks if I know who that guy is across the aisle; the guy who's signing autographs.
I look over and see a boy of about six approach the mystery man and hand him a baseball to be signed.
I don't know who it is, so I ask Laker Dave, who is sitting next to me, if he knows who it is. Suddenly I get a hunch. He looks a little older, but he's got that same long and lean frame - I think it's Wes!
It's a real old-time Dodger RIGHT THERE!
I decide to take a chance. I go over to him, and carefully picking my moment, I say, "Excuse me, but my friends and I have a bet. I'm betting that you're Wes Parker."
He keeps a straight face...maybe I'm wrong???!!!!
Then an ever-so-slight smile emerges, and he says, "That's a pretty good guess."
Immediately I'm a ten-year old kid again, right beside my baseball hero! I tell him he was my first favorite Dodger, and he jokes that at least I didn't say Sandy Koufax.
I ask for an autograph and he obliged me. I picked out what I considered an unimportant page in my program and asked him to feel free to sign as large as he liked.
THANKS for the great autograph, Wes!
More on the inductions of Steve Bilko (the Babe Ruth of the West Coast), Glenn Burke (the first openly gay major leaguer), and Sy Berger (50 years with Topps) into the Shrine of the Eternals, to come later.