You’re never too old to ask for an autograph

When I read that former Boston Red Sox pitcher Mike Timlin was due to appear at a minor-league baseball game in Syracuse, I knew I had to be there.

Timlin, who played for the Syracuse Chiefs in the early 1990s en route to an 18-year major league career, was a key member of the Red Sox’ 2004 and 2007 World Series championship seasons.

He also pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays when they won the World Series in 1992 and 1993, his first two seasons in the majors. Not a bad way to launch a career.

Wearing my 2004 Red Sox shirt, a gift from my Sox-fan brother, I arrived at NBT Bank Stadium early to be among the first in line to get Timlin’s autograph. I didn’t feel the least bit foolish. The Sox, with their decades of heartbreak soothed by their recent success, are part of my DNA.

I thought about having Timlin sign the back of my shirt next to his printed name (the shirt lists the entire roster except for one player, but that’s another story). I thought it would be rude to turn my back to him, so I opted to hand him my crusty old Sox hat.

While he was signing it, I pointed out the shirt I was wearing and asked him how he was doing. Timlin’s one-word answer: “Awesome.”

TimlinHat

Timlin3Timlin4

TimlinRock

While Mike Timlin signed autographs, the Syracuse Chiefs were on their way to defeating the Buffalo Bisons. Caleb Ramsey of the Chiefs takes a healthy cut in front of Bisons catcher A.J. Jimenez.

While Mike Timlin signed autographs, the Syracuse Chiefs were on their way to defeating the Buffalo Bisons. Caleb Ramsey of the Chiefs takes a healthy cut in front of Bisons catcher A.J. Jimenez.

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About Jim McKeever

Observer, writer, father, runner based in Central New York.
This entry was posted in Baseball, Irish Investigations, role models and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to You’re never too old to ask for an autograph

  1. That’s right Jim and I say blessed are those who still pay attention to their inner child! ❤
    Diana xo

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  2. This is a feel good post. And that one little kid’s face made my day! 🙂

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  3. chmjr2 says:

    What a great day! While we do not cheer for the same team, I do understand.

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  4. Giuseppe says:

    Sweet autograph!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dennis Harrod says:

    Just saw this post (day-late-and-a-few-dollars-short is my middle name). I have a Sox T-shirt with Timlin’s name on it and it gets a lot of comments. My barber tried to buy it from me; a guy in a diner in Troy said “I figured it was your (my) name; nobody has a shirt with his name on it.” My daughter, a rabid Sox fan at the time, got it for me because, one, I liked him and thought he was grossly underrated, and, two, I used to tell her that Timlin was the only guy my age still pitching in the majors (he wasn’t, but I always thought he looked old and it annoyed her when I said it). Thanks for reminding us of what is important.

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    • Jim McKeever says:

      Glad you saw that, Dennis, as a Sox fan and parent who raised his daughters right! We’re still in the neighborhood if you want to stop by. I usually have something in the fridge that helps get through the off-season!

      Like

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