The term “baseball memorabilia” usually refers to articles such as baseball cards or autographed baseballs or scorecards of famous games. I have no such items, but baseball has played a major role in my life, yielding memories as treasured as any old baseball card.

I got a confidence boost as a nine-year-old in West Virginia (1951), when a wizened old coach named Herm had me play center field and bat first in the line-up. Little League came to the area the next year, and my dad signed up to coach. I played catcher for the team, my brother pitched and my mother and sister dutifully attended all games. My mother wrote a poem for “Life” magazine about my brother striking out in his first at-bat entitled, “That’s My Little Leaguer.”

A fine Little League career convinced me that playing in the big leagues was in my future. Facing faster pitchers — and curve balls (no fair!) — at the next level (Babe Ruth League) doused that dream.

Around that time, my dentist told me all about the major leagues. Fascinated, I decided to be a Cleveland Indians fan, a good thing to be in the mid 1950’s. My dad took me to a double header in Cleveland in 1954 and “my” Indians took two from the Yankees. I also spent many hours listening to the radio and scoring games, just like my dad.

The Indians cooled off in the late fifties, and my interest waned. But after I moved to Brunswick in 1968 to work in admissions at Bowdoin, I shifted my allegiance to the Red Sox. During that time, I went to a game at Fenway Park at which I caught a ball thrown by Ken Harrelson (“Hawk”) during batting practice. I later gave the ball to my secretary Yvette to give to her 8-year-old son, as my sons were toddlers at the time. He still has that ball, last I heard.

While serving as Director of Admissions at Ohio Wesleyan, I got a free press pass to a Cincinnati Reds game, thanks to the Journalism professor from whom I was taking a summer course on magazine article writing. Turns out it was free bat day. Every kid in the packed stadium was holding up a free red bat. Everyone, that is, but my two sons, ages five and six. So as any good dad would do, I bought two red bats, much to the surprise of the vendor.

After moving to Baltimore, I became a Baltimore Orioles fan, a good thing to be in the late 70’s and early 80’s. In 1983, my dad joined us at a World Series game between the Orioles and the Phillies (his team). “We” (the Orioles) won.

One day when I was coaching a Little League team (son David was the catcher and son Jon was the pitcher), I was wearing a Bowdoin letter sweater to ward off the spring chill. A mother of one of the players came up to me and asked, “What did you do, go to Bowdoin or something?” The woman had grown up in Brunswick and knew Bowdoin’s colors. Years later that woman (Tina) became my wife.

After we returned to New England (first to Massachusetts and then to Maine) I shifted my allegiance back to the Red Sox. I was thrilled when the Red Sox broke the jinx and won the World Series in 2004, especially since a dear friend, who was battling cancer, got to savor the victory. (He died the next spring.)

As you can imagine, I’ll be cheering on the Sox big-time during the upcoming playoffs and, hopefully, the World Series. Whatever happens, I’ll retain the lifetime memories associated with my favorite sport. And besides, there’s always next year.

David Treadwell, a Brunswick writer, welcomes commentary and suggestions for future “Just a Little Old” columns. [email protected].

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