Clint Hurdle’s mail includes letters telling him how to manage the Colorado Rockies, but his fan mail includes a Sports Illustrated cover he’s asked to sign over and over.
Meantime, Cleveland reporters were surprised at the prices on Red Sox autographed baseballs outside Fenway Park–and asking questions about the mystery of the disappearing vintage stadium scoreboard.
He was a pretty hot prospect back in the day. Hot enough to find his mug on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He may go down in baseball history as a better manager.
Hurdle has become a favorite target of autographed Sports Illustrated collectors according to this from SI.com:
Now that Colorado has won its first NL pennant, several copies of the March 20, 1978, edition with Kansas City Royals rookie Clint Hurdle on the cover with the headline "This Year’s Phenom” have been floating around the Rockies’ clubhouse.
Hurdle, who has managed the Rockies for six seasons, said somebody sent first baseman Todd Helton a box with 40 or 50 of the vintage editions in protective plastic sheaths.
"He doesn’t need any ammo to make my life more challenging,” Hurdle said. "He thought it was humorous.”
Hurdle doesn’t really mind, though.
"Do I wish it would go away? No. There’s nothing I need to run from. I’ve had some personal demons that I’ve had to face. This isn’t a demon by any means. It’s something that happened in a particular point in time in my life that I look back at as a great life experience,” Hurdle said.
Hurdle, whose middling playing career was cut short by a back injury, said he’s amazed that the issue keeps popping up.
"Just amazing because it will never go away. I didn’t know how many more were left and 50 of them showed up the other day,” Hurdle said. "Helton wanted to know if I wanted them. I said, ‘No. I’m good. I don’t need them.’ The magazine showed up. I don’t know where they came from.”
Hurdle estimates he’s autographed more than 1,200 issues over the years.
"They always show up,” he said. "They’re like boomerangs. Throw them and they all come back.”
So, how many does he own himself?
"My wife would be proud to tell you that I don’t have any,” Hurdle said. "My sisters do, my mom and dad do. I don’t have any.”
Prior to Game 7 of the ALCS Sunday night, the discussion around Fenway Park included talk of the whereabouts of the old scoreboard and the lofty prices placed on Red Sox autographed baseballs.
From The Cleveland Plain Dealer:
The hand-operated scoreboard that lines the base of the Green Monster in left field at Fenway Park is not the original.
The old scoreboard was removed shortly before John Henry and Tom Werner bought the team in late 2001. It’s whereabouts are a mystery, said a Red Sox employee.
"Nobody knows where it is," he said. "I’m wondering if it’s John Harrington’s garage." Harrington was head of the Jean Yawkey Trust that sold the team to Henry and Werner for $660 million.
Autographed balls are available for sale in the Red Sox team shop on Yawkey Way, the pedestrian mall outside Fenway. A Manny Ramirez ball will cost you $400. A ball autographed by members of the 2004 World Series championship team is $3,000.
The cheapest ball in the case? One signed by Kelly Shoppach, a former Red Sox farmhand who is now the Indians’ backup catcher. It’s on sale for $100.
The biggest selling jerseys on Saturday were those of Dustin Pedroia, Josh Beckett and reserve outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, said employee David Yanofsky.
"They don’t buy that many Manny’s anymore," Yanofsky said. "Everybody’s got those already."