Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Catching the A Train

When I was growing up, Artis Gilmore was one of the best centers in the NBA. I clearly remember getting his ABA card when he was with the Virginia Squires. He joined the Chicago Bulls for the 1976-77 season and played with them for six seasons. He later rejoined the team for part of his last season. Ultimately, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

Artis was billed at 7'2" and I believe that was not exaggerated. I'm 5'11' and he still had me beat sitting down when I met him.

Much like a lot of older former athletes, Artis had some knee issues, so he remained sitting during his appearance at Abt in Glenview. Fans started lining up hours before his appearance. Figuring this, I showed up later, but early enough to know the line would not be cut of yet. It was great seeing so many fans there for Gilmore. Too often, fans don't appreciate the older players as much.

As I waited, I remembered his ABA card. It was a bit surreal meeting him 50 years later. Now, fans take these appearances for granted, but back in my young days, these appearances rarely happened.

Artis Gilmore and me in Glenview, IL-March 2023.

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