A baseball birthday surprise

Meet Bron Locke … it’s his 45th birthday!
Bron, an avid Yankees fan who lives in Clearlake Oaks, Calif., has been a fan since 1976. He was 12 years old when Mickey Mantle shook his hand and autographed a photo for him at an Apple Blossom Festival.

Before that he was a Baltimore Orioles fan when he lived nearby, and Ken was one of his favorite players, said his daughter Tasha in an e-mail to Mrs. Singy.

“He never misses a Yankees game and watches most of them on the YES Network,” wrote Tasha, a Virginia resident.

Bron has attended nearly 100 Yankees games at 12 different stadiums. During the recent Yankees-A’s series, Bron was thrilled when Johnny Damon acknowledged his wave with a nod, a smile and a lift of his glove. When Johnny chased a foul ball then flipped it to an A’s attendant, the attendant flipped the ball to Bron. Regrettably, another fan bumped his arm and the ball bounced away for someone else to snatch up. He was heartbroken.

locke_250.jpgTasha said it is her dad’s lifetime dream to own a baseball from the Major Leagues. And good daughter that she seems, she wants to ensure her dad has a very happy birthday.

“You have no idea how much my dad’s happiness means to me,” she said.

What a sweet girl. Tell your dad to watch his mailbox, Tasha, for a little baseball birthday surprise from Ken.

Happy Birthday, Bron Locke, Yankees fan extraordinaire! 

UPDATE: A week after this entry, Mr. Locke was kind enough to send me a nice e-mail.

Hi Mrs Singleton,
This is Bron Locke, thank you for the great blog entry! It’s a shame I was so clumsy at the game, I should’ve anticipated that someone would be reaching for the ball as well. But, to get an autographed ball from Ken is MUCH more special.
Attached is a collage picture I made for Tasha, with an extra message added to the bottom for you and Ken. I wanted you two to have it so you can know that you made a Ken Singleton fan’s year! I’m building a walnut display case to house the ball and display the card.
Thanks again for your kindness,

Bron Locke


1 Comment

Wow, I’m almost speechless. First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOUIE! A father is truely blessed when his kid loves him enough to do what my Tash did. I knew I was blessed before this, she became an avid Yankees fan and it takes a child that wants to bond with her dad to root for the same team and then become a true fan like she has. I can’t thank her or Mr and Mrs Singleton enough for this birthday surprise.
Just a little background on how a Yankee fan became a fan of an Oriole player. In 1975, I went to see an Orioles game with my dad and two of his friends. I was sporting my favorite hat, it had ELB on the front and I believe it was a wild red white and blue color. We were sitting about five rows back to the left of the Orioles dugout. When they were done warming up, Ken walked over and made a gesture towards his hat and smiled. He tossed a baseball toward me. Unfortunately, a man two rows in front of me grabbed it and gave it to his son. I think Ken was disappointed but since the ball went to another little boy he went into the dugout. That was the day I became a huge Ken Singleton fan and even though I shifted my loyalties to the Yankees in 1976, I always followed Ken’s career and rooted for him whenever we went to Memorial Stadium (except when he played the Yanks, sorry Ken. But, I never rooted against you personally if that helps. 🙂

Today, I enjoy his broadcasts and have told Tash numerous times how lucky the Yankees are to have him in the booth. He’s knowledgeable, fun, and you can tell by listening that he loves the game just as you could tell when he played. Far too often local television broadcasters are biased and annoying, if you are rooting for the visiting team, the Yes Network crew calls games fair and professionally.
Thanks again Ken and Mrs Singy, you’ve made this birthday really special.

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