Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Rick Stelmaszek Saga:Part 13

I have been going to AU Sports in Skokie (IL) for years. They have the largest supply of sports card singles in the country. The best part is that you are allowed behind the counter to find your own cards in the boxes on the wall of cards. I have spent many hours in AU Sports, looking for cards, meeting players or just talking to other collectors. I have also had many great chats with owner Steve Gold or his late mother Audrey (a dear woman).
For years I tried to get Steve to approach the former Chicago Cubs catcher about doing a signing. Well, that day finally occurred several years ago. Of course I had to check it out. Stelmaszek drew a pretty good crowd. He has several key accomplishments that a collector might value.
-Member of the Chicago Cubs
-World Series winner twice as a coach with the Minnesota Twins
-Local Chicagoan
-Longest current tenured coach with one team
Of course, there is also that near-miss with Nolan Ryan's no-hitters. Darn it.
It was fun to witness this. I still remember nervously (even though he was a neighbor) approaching him 30 years ago for his autograph. Wow...time does fly.
Rick Stelmaszek and me at AU Sports in Skokie, IL-early 00's.

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