Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Lost Ball

Have you ever missed out on an amazing opportunity? Something that when you look back on it many years later you feel like kicking yourself for letting it go?

It was the winter of 1992 and I was with my girlfriend wandering around the downtown area of a small town near where we were living at the time. We were looking for antique stores; my ex had a thing about buying anything and everything that was antique. But what caught my eye was a storefront sports collectible shop. It was the kind of place that is small, dark and cramped. An older guy who had been in business for years at the same location owned it. He seemed to have a story about everything in the shop, but overall a nice guy.

After a short time wandering around the shop I noticed a small collection of baseballs tucked away in to a case. There seemed to be nothing special about the collection until the old guy grabbed out a ball that had rolled to the back of the case. He handed me what I thought was just an old discolored ball. I turned the ball in my hand and was nearly floored when I noticed that distinctive “B”. I was actually holding a Babe Ruth autographed ball, a piece of history in my hand.

The old guy was selling it on consignment and there was a COA, which now means as much as showing a piece of TP, but at the time was something of a comfort. It was selling for around $1650, which was within my price range, but damned if my ex didn’t step in and bring me down to Earth. I was given the ultimatum of leaving with her or the baseball. I look back now and kick myself for making the choice I had made (saying this half-jokingly). But, I do look back as an opportunity missed.

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