OK, not THE ball (we hear the dog ate it), but at least an official replica.
An early birthday gift arrived in the mail over the weekend. And it what can only be termed a so-crazy-that-it-MUST-be-true coincidence, I had been sent a 2007 World Series baseball, signed by ... Jonathan Papelbon himself. No way I could make this up.
Mom and I had a good laugh on the phone on Sunday, when I told her that I "penned" the occasional column on a blog named after the same Sox closer who had autographed my birthday present. She had had no idea.
One other funny twist that ties in here ... I was a 7-year-old in the hospital recuperating from minor surgery in the spring of 1984 when I was given a "best wishes" signed baseball from former Red Sox, Dwight Evans.
I always liked Evans' timely hitting and cannon arm in right field. Plus--and this was probably a bigger deal when I was kid--he and I share the same birthday: November 3.
So, happy birthday, Dewey! And thanks for the ball, Pap! No dogs in my house, so it's safe with me.