Today, Johnny and I headed out to Mounds View to meet Johnny Blanchard and get a couple of autographs. Well, five autographs. He was appearing at Tom Frantzen's Sports Collectibles and they were charging a very reasonable $8 per autograph, regardless of the item being signed.
Johnny had picked up a plastic Yankees batting helmet a while ago at a flea market, so he had him sign that, his catcher's mitt, and an 8x10 we bought at the signing.
After sending a couple of cards to him in the mail last November, I decided to have him sign a ball and a bat.
Mr. Blanchard was full of stories. The line moved very slowly as he was very talkative, but nobody minded. We all enjoyed hearing his opinions on steroids, Commissioner Selig, and Yankee Stadium. We also really enjoyed his stories about Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and Yogi Berra. One funny story about Yogi revolved around he, Yogi and Mickey trying to decide where to go out to eat. Mickey suggested some Italian restaurant, but Yogi warned them not to go there. "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded", he said. Funny stuff.
Johnny really enjoyed meeting a fellow catcher, especially one that had won two World Series. Mr. Blanchard was kind enough to let Johnny wear his World Series ring. I'm sure Johnny will remember today for a long time.