One of the things I’ve seen a lot of people on baseball card twitter doing is collect players who went to their high schools. While I’m doing this with my college, I don’t think there are enough baseball players to do this with my high school.* In fact the only one I can think of is Scott Erickson.
*I can’t complain since my high school is famous for counting both Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak among its alumni.
Erickson made his big break right at the peak of the junk wax era. Perfect timing for me since I was deep into collecting cards and autographs. When he was invited to receive an award at a Sunnyvale City Council meeting I made sure to attend with both a card and a sharpie.
He was very much a star but there were only a few of us kids at the meeting. It wasn’t well publicized so I think everyone who was there had to know someone who worked for the city. He signed for us before it started but we stayed for the duration since showing up for his award ceremony seemed an appropriate price to pay. Also I suspect that all of us made deals with our parents that staying through the meeting was the cost of going.
So yes I sat through a city council meeting just so I could get an autograph.
Looking at the signature now I have to say that it’s one of the nicest ones I have in terms of penmanship. I used to think that this was a function of getting him to sign in a non-harried situation but doing a quick google search suggests that he just had really good penmanship.
Since I had some connections to people who worked for the city (parents of friends, etc.) I was also able to get a signed baseball. This isn’t an in-person but I trust my source. The ballpoint pen here shows how great Erickson’s signature really is.
While Erickson isn’t someone who I’d normally consider ball-worthy now, the fact that he is a local guy who grew up literally the next block over from me makes him a special case. In the same way, despite the fact that I’m not currently working an Erickson-specific collection,* running into his cards or other memorabilia will never fail to bring a smile to my face.
*Although I did run into a cheap lot on ebay which I couldn’t pass up so now I’ve got a few pages of his cards.
There is something fun about these hometown guys. And there is something special about high school and the way it connects communities.