One day in the late 1980's I arrived home from work and was greeted by my 9 year-old daughter. She was excitedly telling me about 2 baseball players that had come to her 4th grade class that day.
She described in detail how the players had shown the students how to hit and throw. How they even had tossed a few pitches for the kids to swing at. She was quite excited about the experience.
When you are in 4th grade, everyone over 15 is an adult to you. My sweet little girl figured that any "adult" playing baseball must be a big leaguer. I found out later that the players were the son of my daughter's teacher and his best friend.
The young men were going to graduate from high school in a few weeks. They had the day off school and had graciously gone to the elementary school class room as a treat for the kids.
Before they left, my daughter was sure to get an autograph from each of the guys for her baseball crazed Dad, whom she knew would be happy to add them to his collection.
It was one of those innocent gestures of childhood goodness that a parent never forgets. Not because I thought the youngsters were potential big leaguers, but for the sentimental circumstances in which it was obtained, I kept and treasured the page with those signatures in my collection.
A few years later I saw the name Doug Saunders in the newspaper transactions column. He was joining the Mets! I knew the name sounded familiar. Finding the old piece of notebook paper there it was. The best friend of the teacher's son was Doug Saunders.
From an elementary school room in Southern California, to Shea Stadium to where ever he is now...Keep Up the Good Work Doug.