Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Foam bricks and Tommy Lasorda

I always envied my friends who had a great relationship with their grandfathers. I remember one of my buddies, every Saturday his grandpa called him to talk about the Notre Dame football game. I was jealous of those conversations; not because of anything to do with Notre Dame, but because it seemed like a moment they both treasured.

You see, I am one of the unfortunate people to have not known their grandfathers. On my dad’s side, his father passed long before I was born. On my mother’s side, my grandfather passed away when I was an infant. It’s nice to know that he did know of me and held me at some point. I can’t remember the situation, but I do remember my aunt saying to my mom once about me, “Dad really would have liked him.” I thought that was an amazing compliment, although it also made me feel like I really missed out knowing him.

So while I didn’t officially know my mom’s father, I’ve always felt like I had a little bit of a connection to him. I own a few articles of his, including his Army tags, which I treasure.

I also have a few pieces of memorabilia. The first is a foam “TV brick”, which he used to throw at the TV when the Yankees won. While I’m told he wasn’t a Yankees fan, I’m not sure who he followed. However, my mom told me she thinks he was secretly a Yankees fan and it was all for show, as rarely did he miss a Yankees game on TV. Granted, in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s he didn’t have much of a choice of teams to watch, but still, I'd like to think he secretly rooted for them deep down, and this was just his schtick.
My grandmother also had a sister in Florida, and each winter her and my grandfather visited them. Once in a while, they’d go to a spring training site. Here is a photo my grandmother took. Of course you know who this guy is.
What’s most interesting is that the back of the photo is autographed andpersonalized by Tommy to my grandfather.
Lastly, while this just seems like a regular old 1970 Topps Jim Palmer, my mom once gave this to me and told me she found it tucked away in some of her dad’s old documents. I’ll never get rid of this card.
While it's true I never knew my grandfather, I think it's pretty cool that I at least have a piece of him in my collection.


  1. My roommate in college threw a magazine at the TV once when the Pistons lost and cracked the screen. Maybe I should have bought him a foam brick...

    Treasure those tangible connections, forever!

  2. Very nice post. I think the two of you would have made some awesome baseball memories

  3. What a great post! That Tommy Lasorda picture is really neat.

    I can't help but think that I should have had a foam NES controller when I was young, that said something like "Throw at T.V. after Mike Tyson knocks you out for the tenth time in a row".

    I had a great relationship with my Grandpa growing up, reading this post brought three memories to mind almost instantly: Us playing basketball (something he did up until his mid 60's) on the hoop over the garage, board game (Yahtzee in particular), and watching Godzilla movies.

    You may not have known your Grandpa, but at least you have a few things to remember him by. That's more then a lot of people can say.

    1. A foam NES controller...you might be on to something!

  4. The brick is frickin' awesome and love that it may have all been for show. That's the makings of grandfather lore.
    Thanks for sharing. I'm really thankful to have my grandfather still alive and kicking. I try to bring him sugar free pie at least twice a month.

  5. I'm in the same boat as you. One of my grandfathers passed away a few months before I was born and the other when I was really young. I'm sure they both have some personal items floating around the family, but I don't have anything. I'd give up one of my Rickey Henderson autographs for a cool piece of memorabilia like that foam brick. That thing is a priceless piece of memorabilia. Thanks for sharing this post.