Tuesday, June 24, 2008

22 Stories About Foul Balls In Arlington On September 26th, 1986. Minus 20.

August 26th, 1986. Red Sox beat Rangers 8-1 at Arlington Stadium. Twenty-two years later, I learn two stories about the game, both involving foul balls. First, I see a ball on ebay supposedly hit by Rich Gedman. As many of you know, I'm in the process of collecting every single Rich Gedman baseball card, as well as other Geddy artifacts. An update to that coming soon. Anyway, I thought, Wow, a real Gedman-hit foul ball. It was so cheap, so, even though there's no definitive way of proving that Rich hit the ball, I figured I'd place the one-dollar bid and see what happens. The seller seemed to have a legit story, though, and he wasn't a collector, just some guy who caught the ball, kept it in his sock drawer for 20 years, and decided it was time a Sox fan (or better yet me, an actual Rich Gedman fan) should have it. It seemed to have the right look to it, with the Delaware River mud, so I figured I'd take the guy at his word and consider it a true Geddy game ball. I did notice he had the wrong year, though, since the commissioner on the ball didn't match the year he said it was. I asked him some questions, and he told me the whole story of the night. How he'd brought a bunch of kids to the game, one boasted all night about how he was sure to catch a ball, the kid went to the bathroom, and the guy caught the ball while the kid was gone. That didn't help me figure out what game or even what year the ball was from. He said his only other memory of the game was that afterwards, Amy Grant played a concert. So I did a news search. Turned out, everybody's favorite half country/half cheesy/half Christian singer played Arlington Stadium on 8/26/86. I told the guy this, and it all came rushing back to him. Yes! It was '86! Etc, etc. So I bought the ball, at a very cheap price. That was a few months ago. Yesterday, I realized I'd forgotten the date of the game, so I looked up the Amy Grant article again. I came across another article from two days after the game about a doctor who rescued a woman in the crowd from getting nailed by a foul ball. His name is Kenneth Cooper, and apparently he's a big deal down there, and even "invented" the term "aerobics." (The woman suffered only a glancing blow, and according to the article, stayed for the Amy Grant show, though she did get a headache. They don't specify whether it came from the ball or the music.) So there were two foul ball incidents that night. And I've got one of 'em. Maybe now I'll see if I can locate that other one.... Calling Dr. Cooper... Dr. Kenneth Cooper....


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Location: Rhode Island, United States