Monday, December 22, 2014

A Baseball Birthday

Hey-yo, happy birthday to me!  My family had the annual Mom-and-Tom bday celebration over the weekend, as our birthdays are only four days apart.  My sister was under the weather and now I'm afraid I'm coming down with something, too. Regardless, it was still good to see everyone and enjoy some gondola sandwiches from Avanti's, which is a local favorite.

We'll keep the post light on words and heavy on the pictures.  Here we go!  First a gift from my loving wife:
I really enjoyed Hayhurst's first two books and I'm sure this one will also be a quick page turner.  Maybe I'll make my personal goal of reading a twelve books in 2014 yet?

Another book, but this one is from my sister:
 It's a Shutterfly book commemorating our trip to Spring Training earlier this year!

 Hehe...  the bottom right photo in the picture above has a shot of my buddy, Jim, with his arm around Travis Wood's wife.  Blackmail photo!  Nice!

 Next time I see Theo I'm going to have him sign this picture for me.  That would be a pretty sweet addition to ra eally thoughtful and on point gift.

An identifying mark to know for sure this book was made by my sister?  Yep, here's the token candid photo of myself.  I'm not sure why I was giving her the death stare, but I'm sure it was warranted!

My parents' gifts once again fell well beyond the generous side of the scale.  Gift cards, snacks, and some fuel cards for our planned trip to Texas to visit friends.

My sister, a big game player, also graciously gave me a new baseball board game:
 I'm hoping to try this one out when we reconvene for our family Christmas celebration later in the week.  Thanks, Jane!

They also bought me baseball cards!  Woo-woot!
 Here are the highlights:
 A past Cub in Reed Johnson and a former Cub, turned Cub again, in Jason Hammel.

Rumor has it that Jonny Gomes is on the Cubs' radar.  We'll have to wait and see how that plays out.

 Alexi Amarista seems to be having fun.  The Big Papi mini was a nice pull. 

 Here's a couple of last names you may recognize from the Heritage pack because of their bloodlines.  Kean in the brother of Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong.  Gabriel Guerrero is the nephew of one of my all-time favorite non-Cub baseball players, Vlad "The Impaler" Guerrero. 

Hey, an Addison Russell card for my mini player collection of nice. That's a nice surprise!

Speaking of nice surprises, this ball was given to me by Sally Jo and Karl Winek.  It has the autographs from the professional baseball players who put on the "Play with the Pros" clinic I wrote about in my last blog post.  Yep, Zach McAllister and Ben Zobrist are on this 2008 Home Run Derby baseball.  Pretty cool!

Thank you everyone for the gifts!


  1. Happy birthday, Tom! Looks like you had a good one.

    I read that Hayhurst book a few months ago, it's a real treat. I think you'll enjoy it quite a bit.


    Luckily, in Morris, we have a place that also does gondolas, which is nice since driving to Normal to hit Aventi's is a pain in the ass.

    And happy birthday old man.

  3. Happy Birthday Tom! Looks like you got some great gifts!

  4. Happy B-Day Tom!

    BTW, I sent you a little something a while back. Did it arrive or do I have to call USPS?

    1. It arrived and I've written a post about part of it, but I'm pleasantly backlogged at the moment, and it won't post until 12/30. I actually dropped a return package off at the PO earlier this morning. Thanks!

  5. Thanks for all of the kind wishes, everyone!

  6. I'll be happy to take the credit for the board game, which I failed to put a proper name tag on, but I will not claim passing along by cold cooties to you. That simply would not be a proper birthday present. Feel better real quick, looking forward to trying the new game out.