Hank Sauer

My favorite baseball player as a kid was Hank Sauer – right fielder for the hapless Chicago Cubs.  I tried – desperately – to get his autograph when my dad would take me to Wrigley Field but the most I ever got was eye contact.  I was screaming at him “Hank!  Hank!  Mister Sauer!”  He looked me in the eye like I was a 9 year old lunatic. 

A few years ago, I wrote an article talking about Hank and how I never was able to get his autograph.  Someone read the article and sent me a note that Hank was living in Southern California.   The address was included.  Sooooo, I sent him a letter – including a copy of the article and talking about how I was his best fan in the world.  A few weeks later, I arrived at my office one morning and there was a package on my desk.  In the corner was a return address sticker shaped like a baseball.   Between the stitching, it said “Hank Sauer.”  My eyes filled with tears and I opened the package.  Inside was a large album full of original pictures of Hank, original baseball cards and. . . . several autographs – “To Scott – my best Chicago fan.”   

Hank passed away 10 years ago this month.  But I will always relish the fact that I “hit the high note” in my autograph collecting career.  I got Hank Sauer.