The other night I said to Pipeline Person CP, “I’ll bet the sports memoribilia market is really getting hammered in these tough economic times.”
CP: “You don’t think people are going to pay top dollar for those Brian Cardinal autographs?”
But some things retain their value, monetary and otherwise. CP continued. “My dad has a Ted Williams-autographed ball. I’m pretty sure I told you this story before.” It was true. He had, but the only thing I could remember was that it was a great story. No details. I’m good that way. But now I have the iPhone, and I take Notes. Thumbs at the ready, the soft yellow glow of the notepad reflecting back on my face, I eagerly waited for him to continue.
“My dad grew up Cleveland, right, him and a friend go to an Indians game, hang around forever afterwards.” (I forgot to ask CP what year this happened. Is this the old, bitter crotch still tearing the cover off the ball towards the end, or the young, bitter crotch tearing the cover off the ball towards the beginning?) “Williams finally comes out, my dad asks him to sign his ball. Williams kind of grunts or whatever, but he signs the ball and hands it back to my dad. My dad’s friend holds out his ball and pen for his autograph. Williams grabs the pen, hurls it into the street and snarls, ‘You get one fucking autograph!’, or something very close to that, and storms away. Two guys, one ball, and it’s in a safety-deposit box right now.”
“Also, as the story goes, a car then ran over the pen.”
Memoribilia market or not, you can’t put a price on something like that. Although perhaps CP’s dad’s friend could.