I've been going to baseball games since I was a baby. But to be honest, my first memory of baseball is the Oakland Coliseum and the sounds of Kool & the Gang's famous song, "Celebration". After doing a little research, I was surprised to see that the song came out in the 1980's, which means that I was at least 8 years old when I had those memories. I'm a little ashamed that I can't remember any personal memories before that, but it is what it is.
I guess when I think about it, the 80's is where it all started for me. I started playing baseball... I started following baseball... and most importantly... I started collecting cards. But that's another story.
Today, I'm writing about one of my favorite players growing up. Like most people, I picked my idols for specific reasons. I liked Rickey Henderson, because he was the A's best player. I liked Ozzie Smith, because he made impossible defensive plays and could do a back-flip. And I liked Tony Gwynn and Kirby Puckett, because they were kind of stocky, but could hit for average. All four of these players have one thing in common... I liked them because of their baseball skills. Well... the last guy I idolized was an amazing pitcher, but I could care less about his skills. In fact the reason I liked him was because he had the coolest mustache in baseball. Yep, you guessed it... Rollie Fingers.
I started seeing him on cards that I pulled out of packs. Later I found out that a buddy of mine is related to him, so that made Mr. Fingers even cooler. Eventually, I discovered that he played for the A's & Padres (my two favorite teams) and I became a fan of his for life. Last week, I picked up my second autograph of Mr. Mustache and I'm glad I bought it, because it brought back a lot of great memories from my childhood. Thank you Mr. Fingers/Mr. Mustache!