Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blog Bat Around V

So, the topic that dayf over at The Card Junkie has asked for the Fifth Blog Bat Around is:
"What is the best experience you have had acquiring cards or memorabilia?"
Most of the blogs deal with baseball. Mine does, most of the time. This time, to keep with the topic, I'm going with a different sport. Basketball.

It was June of 1991. Saturday the 15th. A small, nondescript card show in Downers Grove, IL. I planned to attend it with my friend, Kevin.

A week or so before I read a Bob Greene column in the Chicago Tribune. He was following the Bulls and did a story on B.J. Armstrong. It talked about how B.J. kept a Bible in his locker and would often read it before and after games.

B.J. was scheduled to be signing autographs at the show.

Kevin and I wanted to attend for a few reasons. We liked sports cards, we liked doing things together and we were really curious as to what Mr. Armstrong thought of the Bible (Kevin and I were in the worship band at the church we attended. He played drums and I played bass.)

We arrived, paid our few dollars, said some pleasantries to B.J. and I pushed the card I brought along to him. It was a 1990 Fleer. Number 22. It was his rookie card. He accepted it and signed it with a black Sharpie. He signed whatever it was that Kevin brought along.

It was a small show. Not many people were in attendance and even fewer were at the table where B.J. was signing. Kevin had his camera with him. Kevin asked if we could get a few photos. B.J. was gracious. I took one of he and Kevin. I was too shy or didn't want to impose, so I didn't get my photo taken that day. I wish that I had.

B.J. was tired. You could see it in his eyes. The Bulls had finished a very good season (61-21) and an excellent post season (15-2) defeating the Lakers in the Finals just three days before.

Since there was no one behind us in the line, we started with some small talk. It moved to the Bob Greene article.

Yes, he did have the Bible in his locker and yes, he did read it. To him it was just another book, like a best-seller. Something to pass the time.

Many years have gone by since that day and I've purchased many packs and singles since then. Some of them I remember, most of them I don't.

But I remember the day that Kevin and I spent some time together with B.J. Armstrong at a card show in Downers Grove.

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