When we got home that night, I couldn't help but hope that when I decide to retire... my colleagues and former students will one day do something like that for me. Heck... maybe my district will honor me with my very own special day.
I know that sounds ridiculous and crazy... but that's exactly what the Philadelphia Phillies did for Mike Schmidt twenty-four years ago on May 26th, 1990. That night they handed special programs honoring one of the greatest third basemen to ever play the game.
On the cover, there's a specially designed MVP plaque celebrating Schmidt's three MVP awards. Twelve years ago, my principal and colleagues awarded me with a Teacher of the Year award. Maybe they could make that the cover for my retirement program.
Inside there's a amazing painting of Schmitty and a nice introduction by Harry Kalas, the Phillies former play by play announcer. Unfortunately Mr. Kalas passed away five years ago, so someone else would need to step up to the plate and write something nice about me. Since I'd like to avoid paying someone off... maybe my mommy would be willing to do it.
The next two pages feature a detailed biography of Schmidt's amazing career and includes everything from his final career numbers, to key milestones, to his work in the community. My retirement program could list off some of my famous sick days, talk about the time one of my students beat me in a game of chess using four moves, and of course the year I dressed up as a geisha girl for Halloween.
After that there's a nice photo collage with well written captions that cover his illustrious career. Luckily for me... I've kept most of my staff pictures and people who attend can check out how I lost and gained weight over the years, as well as critique and giggle at my clothes and hair styles.
Now this is where Schmidt's program is going to differ from mine. He's all over MLB's record books as you can see on pages 6 and 7 of his program. On the other hand, I don't hold many records. I guess they could list the time I had ten teacher's assistants in one semester... which eventually led to the current rule that teachers can only have two TA's per semester. Oh... and so far, I've killed over 100 cockroaches in my classroom this past school year. That's a record I hope I'll never break. I hate cockroaches more than sticker autographs.
The final two pages list his career statistics and kind words from his colleagues which include Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, and Pete Rose. Since I've never met any of those guys, I'm hoping a few of my co-workers or former students will find something nice to say about me. If not... I'm okay with having slightly smaller program than Mr. Schmidt.
Oh... I almost forgot. On the back cover a pair of companies honor the finest 3rd basemen of all time.
Attention Topps... if you're reading this post, I hope you realize that I've been a huge supporter of your cards over the past thirty-something years. I even hand out custom cards featuring your 2008 card design. The least you could do is salute me when I retire and shoulder the cost of my awesome retirement programs.
Now I just need to get through the next twenty-something years of teaching to see if I'll forever be remembered like my old principal and the one and only... Michael Jack Schmidt.
Okay... enough about us. Today is the special day we honor the brave men and women who died serving in the United States Armed Forces. Freedom has never been free and it's important to remember those who have sacrificed their lives to protect and serve our amazing country. Also... I'd like to thank anyone who is serving or has served our country, so that scaredy-cats like myself are able to contribute to our society in less dangerous ways.
Happy Memorial Day! I hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying their holiday weekend.