Friend Encounters is a weekly series featuring friends who have met celebrities. Swag Week continues with a Friend Encounters Special Swag Week edition.
Don Martukovich is another friend I never met. Based in Ohio, Don is a huge softball fan, who attends many games and posts hundreds (thousands?) of pictures of the action and players. I live vicariously through him at these games. I appreciate his pictures, but the players and families appreciate them even more. I occasionally reach out to Don for help in identifying players in my own pictures and Don always is willing to help.
Today, I feature Don with Nadia Taylor and her jersey. I am guessing Don won it in an auction.
Nadia starred at the University of Texas, before turning to National Pro Fastpitch, signing with the Akron Racers as an undrafted free agent in 2014.She played for the Dallas Charge 2016-2017 and then joined the Chicago Bandits.
I wonder how many other jerseys Don has. I would guess a few, but probably many more signed balls. Everyone knows Don. Players are great with signing autographs, but I bet they nejoy signing stuff for him even more, because of all he has done for the players.
With the NPF suspending play in 2020-2021, we are all hopeful for a return in 2022. Akron is gone, but the Cleveloand Comts are an Ohio team I might visit and maybe see Don finally.
Don Martukovich and Nadia Taylor in Akron, OH-August 2014.