Monday, July 23, 2012
Roland James, Ed Mayer, and Ed Mickelson
I received some other returns recently. I had sent two cards to Roland James which he returned signed. He was an excellent cornerback with the New England Patriots after an excellent career at the University of Tennessee. He was part of the Super Bowl team in 1985 that lost to the Chicago Bears. He said that going to the Super Bowl was his favorite memory and even though they didn't win, it taught him so much. I also asked him about the snow game against the Miami Dolphins where they plowed a clean spot for the winning field goal. He said it was a great win for the Pats and he believes that after the game Coach Shula said they would never come to New England that time of the season again. That is pretty funny. I asked him who had the greatest impact on his career and he said that it was his junior high football coach. He taught him so much about working through adversity and playing as a team. He still stays in contact with him. I love to hear things like that since I am a teacher and always hope that I have made a difference in my students' lives. The second return was from Ed Mickelson. I sent him a Ronnie Joyner bio-illustration. I really love these. He returned it signed as well as another photo. He sent me information about the book he wrote which I hope to purchase down the road. Mr. Mickelson got his first major league hit off of Warren Spahn (which he stated was his favorite memory). He was subbing for the great Stan Musial that day. Unfortunately he was blocked in St. Louis so he became kind of stuck in the minor leagues. He put up great numbers and if he would have played in today's era he would have had a lot more opportunities in the majors. A cool point of trivia is that he drove in the final run in St. Louis Browns history. I asked him about his time in Portland, Oregon in the minors. He said that he loved Portland and that it was a great town, great people, and great ballpark. He also said it was his favorite place to play. The last return I will talk about is Ed Mayer. I had read online how Mr. Mayer became a teacher after his baseball career so I knew that I needed to write him. He signed two photo customs (for a lack of a better term) and sent along a card and photo of his own. Mr. Mayer had very good numbers in his limited action. He sent along some information about his career and it was very cool reading. The HOFers he faced had a .210 batting average and all hitters he faced hit .209. He would have made a lot of money in today's game as a lefty reliever! He said that he is very happy-has a large family with five great-grandchildren, he and his wife travel a lot, and they are avid birders. He loved pitching in Wrigley Field-great fans, beautiful ballpark, interesting city. He said that Willie Mays is the best ballplayer that he ever saw. He could do everything. He said he was one of many pitchers that gave up a homer to Willie.