Sunday, December 22, 2019

A Baseball Birthday

I'm another year older today. Woo.

I spent the day coaching a baseball camp for elementary and middle school athletes in our school district. Our high school coaches ran the camp with the help of our varsity players. It's great to get a large chunk of the program's fundraising out of the way and even better to see our high school players interacting with the participants and giving back. Plus, I can't complain about a day that involves baseball . . . and lots of it!

Earlier in the week my wife and I met up with my side of the family to celebrate my birthday and my mom's. We're only four days apart and it only makes sense. I'm not one who likes all of the attention anyway. I'm not sure if my ten year old self would agree, but this middle age "grown up" enjoys sharing the day with Mom. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I used quotation marks in that last paragraph because I'm not sure a person who receives the kinds of gifts I did would do anything but confirm they're still a child. You be the judge!  Here's my favorite five gifts from earlier in the week.

First up, a science fiction novel about baseball and two universes. This should make for a fun read! Thanks, Mom & Dad!

Here's probably the most useful gift from my birthday haul.
My parents gave me envelope of cash and the above flyer so I can buy a new fungo to hit with for the upcoming spring season. I think it's pretty cool the company is from the southern part of Illinois, near a forest that I have hiked in. Now I have decisions to make about the type of wood, the length, weight, and finish. Fun!

The prize for tastiest gift also goes to my parents.
I love peanut butter toast for breakfast. It's a staple of my mornings, but on occasion I'll shock my taste buds and apply jam instead. To say I'm looking forward to tasting this kiwi-strawberry chipotle jam is a gross understatement.

My sister knows me way too well. Check out this 1950 Bowman card of The Heater from Van Meter.
 Bob Feller is on a very short list of my favorite pitchers of all-time with Kerry Wood and Satchel Paige. Yeah, I think I can lock those guys in as my Top 3. Feller's story is just so unique... He was a small town Iowa kid who's high school graduation was broadcast over national radio because he was a dominate pitcher for the Cleveland Indians. Think about that.
Here's the back, because you know, the card is awesome!

Wait, did you see that it was autographed?

No?  No need to scroll back up.  Here it is again!

Alright, here's the present which made me smile the most.
 This is the front of an XL t-shirt that I will wear the heck out of the next few years. Dan Vogelbach hits freaking BOMBS and now I have a shirt to wear around P-town to make sure everyone else knows, too. 

Great stuff! Enjoy the holidays and thanks for stopping by!


  1. Nice haul. I can't wait for the 1-2 people who get that shirt's reference to think you're originally from Seattle or Tacoma.

  2. Happy birthday Tom! Looks like you got the perfect gifts. That Feller is fantastic!

  3. Your mail carrier might regret that you let me know when your birthday was.

  4. Happy (belated) birthday, my friend! Those are some awesome gifts -- that Feller is superb!

  5. It's always nice to receive an envelope of cash. Happy birthday!

  6. Happy belated birthday, Tom! Those are a nice selection of gifts! And that Feller card is sweet!

  7. Happy belated birthday. That shirt is sweet!