I got the father, never the son.
Hal Trosky Jr. has died at age 76.
The obituary stated that he pitched in only two games in his major league career. Breaking in with the 1958 White Sox wouldn't have been easy, winning over manager Al Lopez.
The senior Trosky was a 1930s Cleveland Indians home run machine.
I met the famous dad at a card show in Cedar Rapids. I got his signature on a baseball, then proclaimed, "Did you know there are 108 stitches on a baseball?"
Hal Sr. shrugged and grinned. "All I know is that I wanted to hit every one of them!"
I could see the years melt off his face as he said that.
According to www.sportscollectors.net, the younger Trosky batted a thousand with collectors. That is, of the 16 recorded attempts to get his autograph by mail, he delivered every time. Although he was never seen on a Topps card, he had copies of a photo to send.
Most amazingly, collectors who mentioned Trosky's dad would get a cancelled check from Hal Trosky Sr.(deceased in 1979). An authenticated autograph from a baseball great who had died more than 30 years prior.
Kudos to Kyle Smego at The Autograph Addict for saluting this overlooked Iowan.