My Heroes!

In the summer when I turned seven, I came out of Capitol Drug in White Bear Lake with some packs of baseball cards. Standing on the sidewalk, I opened my treasures and . . . YES! . . . there was a card of Minnesota Twins first baseman Don Mincher! I couldn’t wait to show my dad!

When I was around four, my mom had prepped me for my dad’s arrival home from work on a day when the Twins played an afternoon game. My dad was a huge baseball fan, so when he came through the door at dinner time, I proudly announced “Don Minser hit a home wun and da Twins win!” My dad couldn’t have been prouder!

My dad and I shared a love of baseball. I used to sit on his lap with my baseball cards, cover up the names and have him guess who they were. We also used to trade initials. “Give me one!” I’d say, and he’d think for a moment, then say, “J.G.” “Jim Grant!” I guessed. If that wasn’t it, I’d go to Junior Gilliam, Jim Gentile, Julio Gotay or Jerry Grote. It was a great game for car rides. I remember getting him twice in a row with “J.C.”—Jim Campbell. I don’t know if he was humoring me or if he was paying more attention to his driving, but it’s a great memory that has stayed with me all these years.

My mom was also very loving and supportive of my baseball mania. I remember her surprising me with a box of baseball cards on a family trip when I was seven (I still remember getting Steve Barber, a pitcher for the Orioles). And it was her idea to take me out of school whenever a Twins player was featured at an autograph session at a local bank (see photos below). I couldn’t have asked for two better parents.

When I was in grade school, Dad went out in the back yard with a shovel, dug a couple of holes, and installed a pitching rubber and a wooden home plate. I had a pretty mean curveball, and he’d crouch behind home plate and I’d pitch to him. Countless times during my kidhood, when he’d come home from work, I’d be waiting with my bat and glove and say our code phrase, “Hit me some?” I don’t remember him ever saying no. We’d drive to the baseball diamond at the park a few blocks away, and he’d hit me fly balls until dinner.

So there I was, standing on the sidewalk outside of Capitol Drug with a couple of my friends. A few “big kids” (they must have been in at least fourth grade!) on their bikes nearby were also unwrapping some wax packs of cards. When they heard I had a Don Mincher card, they asked to see it. Caught off guard, I meekly shook my head no. But when one of the big kids offered to give me two of his cards just to see my Mincher card, I naively handed it over to him. Immediately, he took off on his bike, clutching my precious card and laughing. I could hear him saying “Stupid kid” to his buddies as I chased after him in tears.

I cried all the way home. My dad was downstairs, grouting the shower. I can still see him in his paint-stained weekend work clothes looking up at me as I walked downstairs. Sobbing, I told him the story and he gave me a big hug.

I don’t know how many days or weeks went by, but one day in the mail, there was an envelope for me. Imagine my excitement when I pulled out a photo of Don Mincher and saw this note on the back:

To Phillip,
Best wishes always. Sorry you lost the card.
Don Mincher don-mincher-back

I don’t think a seven-year-old kid could have been any happier. I’ve treasured that photo for over forty years—not for the autograph, but for the love my mom showed me by writing a letter to the Twins and explaining what had happened.

Thanks, Mom and Dad. Don Mincher was my favorite baseball player, but you’ll always be my heroes.



MINNESOTA TWINS PHOTO GALLERY

dad-and-me-game-two

My Dad and me coming home from Game Two of the 1965 World Series!

earl-battey

Twins catcher Earl Battey and me

camilio-pascual

Twins pitcher Camilio Pascual and me

jim-grant

Twins pitcher Jim "Mudcat" Grant and me. Mudcat even wrote a get-out-of-school note to my third-grade teacher!




Click here to view all my baseball-related posts.





Click here to see all my posts featuring my parents and grandparents.






ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA

Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?

Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier

To order your copy of Through God’s Eyes, go to GodsEyesOrder.com OR order from Amazon at GodsEyesAmazon.com OR for an inscribed copy, click here to e-mail Phil for information.

Click here for more information about Through God’s Eyes.
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Through God’s Eyes won first place in the “Spirituality and Inspirational” category at the San Diego Book Awards on June 22, 2013.

Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.




Want to learn more about Through God’s Eyes? Here is a free 40-page PDF sampler from the book that includes:

• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders

Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER





logic-of-living-a-spiritual-life-book-cover

Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents on Amazon.

Order it at GodIsLogical.com.

In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?


Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.




Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.



SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.

Here is a three-minute video that introduces you to Phil and his book. Click here to order Sixty Seconds. Click here to ask Phil to add you to his e-mail list for updates on his blog and books.

Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.

Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.

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18 Responses to “My Heroes!”

  1. Cyn Says:

    It was a great game for you and Dad. It drove Mom and me NUTS!!
    Oh, and by the way, you’re over the line on your side of the back seat and I’m telling.

    Love,
    Your sister

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    You are a mean guy!

  3. Cherrie Wozniak Says:

    I don’t believe this!!! Are you and I the only people in the world who even remember who Don Mincher was!!! My Dad could not believe that he was my favorite baseball player!! I was just blindsided when I saw your bolstablog and saw that!! Too funny!! It just keeps getting better and better!

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Those were the good old days, Cherrie! Thanks for reconnecting after all these years. I’m looking forward to getting to know my cousin again!

  5. Deb Reilly Says:

    I wonder how many fathers would think of going to that trouble? Not many. Even fewer would follow through on the thought. Great story. Your Dad was given quite a gift.

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you, Deb! He was a great, great dad! And it was me who was given quite the gift!

  7. Mark Jacobsen Says:

    Loved your story, Phil. As a kid growing up in the SF bay area I remember Don Mincher from his short stint with the A’s (27 HRs in 1970!). As a lifelong baseball fan with a son who is an avid card/autograph collector, your story resonated for me on several levels. Loved the pictures, also – they are classics that remind me of an earlier time. I’ve got a similar collection of our son with today’s Twin heros Torii Hunter, Joe Mauer, Michael Cuddyer, etc.

  8. Phil Bolsta Says:

    It’s so great that you can pass all that on to Colin, Mark. We both know that Colin will appreciate those photos and memories a hundredfold when he gets to be our age.

    And by the way, did you know that Don Mincher batted 1.000 with an RBI while winning a ring with the 72 A’s? How awesome is that?

  9. Erin Says:

    Dad,

    This is a great post and I was picturing everything as I read it. The joys of childhood are some of the sweetest. Poppa and Gram have been so wonderful; what a lovely tribute to them.

    Love,
    Erin

  10. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thanks, honeybear. You are a sweet, lovely, living tribute to both Poppa and Gram!

  11. cirklagirl Says:

    This story is so sweet! Sounds like you have a very blessed life.

  12. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Yes, I do feel blessed in so many ways. Life has repeatedly humbled me, as it does all of us, but setbacks just make the blessings that much sweeter!

  13. steerclear2000 Says:

    Phil, sure enjoy your recounting of your Twins fascination, I’ll be retweeting this piece. Feel free to check in at classicminnesotatwins.blogspot.com!

  14. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thanks so much, Scot! I bookmarked your site and already left a comment on it. Great work!

  15. steerclear2000 Says:

    Enjoyed this recollection, Phil. I’ve retweeted it, very nice photos with classic Twins personalities. Check in sometime at
    classicminnesotatwins.blogspot.com!

  16. Phil Bolsta Says:

    *bows in gratitude*

    Be sure to check out my Twins poems at https://bolstablog.wordpress.com/2009/04/25/twins/

  17. Mark Mincher Says:

    Thank you very much for your story about my dad. It has given comfort to our family during this difficult time. We were both blessed with great fathers.

  18. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Mark, it’s wonderful to hear from you. I wasn’t sure what you were referring to so I Googled your dad and saw that he passed away in March. I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad will always occupy a special place in my heart and in the memories of my family.

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