JUPITER, Fla. — For $375 and an outsized slice of guilt, I could have bought the $375 Cardinals batting helmet signed by Lou Brock, though I’m not sure what you do with a $375 Cardinals batting helmet signed by Lou Brock, unless you sit it on a shelf and gaze at it an hour each day. I texted the wife: Want it, I asked. “I’m good,” she said. So that was that, and I went on with my business of watching the Cardinals rough up the Astros. Victory is glorious, even in the spring.
An admission, though: Back when my wife and I were newlyweds, we supported a roughshod minor-league hockey team in Alabama — the Birmingham Bulls — whose standout player was a tough guy from Saskatchewan named Jerome Bechard. who today is a Realtor in Columbus, Ga., a job change of which I have no explanation. He didn’t score goals; he cracked skulls, and remember that in those days, well before today’s heightened acknowledgement of brain injuries in sports, cracking skulls in hockey was cheered, not scorned. (“Slap Shot,” anyone?) When the season ended, the team auctioned off the jerseys for charity. We bought Bechard’s home white jersey, which he autographed, an odd romantic memento.
Best I can remember, we spent about $350 for it.
Today it sits, folded and essentially forgotten, in a plastic bin in the garage.
That Lou Brock-signed batting helmet won’t be joining it.