I couldn't really find a way to add a good introduction to my life, blog and general collecting life. I figured this would be a good way to debut my blog, Enjoy!
Growing up in Greer, South Carolina, I was exposed to sports as a young age my sister 7 years my senior played softball in the spring, summer and sometimes in the fall. Around the age of 6 I discovered my first "sports" related love Professional Wrestling. Yes I know it's not a sport but "Sports Entertainment" is the correct term. A year or so later I started playing basketball and coaches pitch baseball. That lasted a few years but I wasn't sucked in a lot of my friends loved sports and I kind of grew out of it quick. I think a big factor was in Forth grade the new craze Pokemon Cards. Soon my sports idols Cal Ripken Jr, Jeff Bagwell, Grant Hill, Mark Brunell went to the way side replaced by Dragon Ball Z and Pokemon merchandise. My parents who coached my sisters softball teams didn't want to force me into sports. They could tell at that age I didn't care about sports. Fast forward to 2001 I was dragged back into the sporting world by attending the Coca Cola 600 NASCAR Race. Some may argue if this is a sport but to me it is. I didn't care about the Race at all but by the 600th mile I was hooked. Funny how life works, For the next few years I was hopelessly hooked on Auto Racing. Soon as my passion for Auto Racing was at its peak I started watching other sports, Basketball, Football and even Hockey. Since the age of 14 or so I've been hooked on sports. One sport I never really got back into was Baseball I watched the World Series but I never really regained my passion for it that I once had. I can never blame this but I believe my sisters softball career had a big factor in it. Growing up year round I was at the fields. I guess doing that all the time I kind of got tired of the sport really quick. In retrospect I'm totally glad she got to play for so long. I also have a great deal of memories of playing in the playgrounds and with other kids as the games would go on that I'll be able to keep forever. To get to the point of the story in 2006 I went to a College Baseball game (Kansas @ Clemson) with my Youth Group. I was instantly drawn back to the sport. At that time I probably haven't attended an actual game outside of my sisters in 9 years. I was totally into baseball again. I loved it that year I attended my first MLB game (Toronto @ Atlanta). That was also a great year for Greenville as the new field opened in downtown that host our local minor league team. That summer July 26th 2006 a Wednesday night I attended my first game at our new stadium. It was the USA National Collegiate team taking on the Japanese Collegiate team. Even though my father and mother were always supporting me in whatever I was doing. I never had one of those maybe fantasy-esque father son baseball moments. You know the ones you hear about in movies. That night I believe int he 2nd inning(my memory is a little fuzzy) Oregon State player Darwin Barney (who was one of the few players I would know because of his College World Series performance and the unique name) fouled off a pitch. The Ball collided off the top of the beams in the stadium and bounced back off the steps and right into where we were sitting. My dad scooped it up mid air and that to this day is the only ball I've ever caught at a game (I have quite a book of near grabs but I'll write about that the other day, and yes he caught it but I was going to if he didn't so I say it's half my catch ). In the grand scheme of things that ball is probably worthless monetary wise but I'll always have that memory. That moment connecting father , son and a kids game that I love. Even since then I've at times gotten away from the sport at times. That is why this ball hit by Darwin Barney is probably one of my favorite things in my collection.
The Ticket Stub and a Card of Darwin Barney
The ball that won't be leaving my collection!