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Donn Clendenon's Ring

In 1999, I was in a greenroom getting ready to be interviewed as part of the book tour for my second book, Every Pitcher Tells Story, when, unexpectedly, Donn Clendenon, former Miracle Mets team member and the Most Valuable Player of the 1969 World Series, walked in. After we were introduced, I asked if I could see his MVP World Series ring. He said, "Sure," took off the ring and handed it to me. Knowing that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I asked if I could try on the ring. He said, "Of course." Wearing that ring caused me to flashback to my childhood.

I was nine in that perfect summer of 1969. Back then, I lived for The Beatles, Mets, Jets and Knicks. That sounds funny, but it's true. I LOVED music and sports (and TV). When I played shortstop for my summer camp team, I would put a small, black transistor radio at my feet. Every time our pitcher threw a ball, I'd pick up the radio to try to catch what was going on in the Mets game that day. Al Weis or Rod Gaspar would always get a key hit and the Mets would win. There were a lot of day games in baseball back then as it's a much better game in the day than at night.

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