(I had originally sent this story to the Startribune writer Michael Rand in hopes that he might use it as a guest post on his RandBall blog. Instead, it’s going here, 3 months after we actually got the autograph. And yes, I think that is Mark’s batting stance)
My twin brother, Mark, and I both went to college in Morris at the University of Minnesota campus there (We both also dabbled in D3 college athletics, so you know we have some athletic pedigree) When I got out of school last May, I ended up getting a job in Morris and lived there for about a year.
Mark came out to visit because his girlfriend was graduating college that weekend. To give a little bit of background on what happens in Morris, MN on a Thursday night, I only need to give you a single detail: there’s a bar there that sells beer for a quarter a glass. Needless to say, on the weekend when hundreds of college kids are graduating and finals are over, the bar that sells quarter-taps is full.
Mark and I walk in the door and a guy who works in the athletics department recognizes me and calls me over. He tells me to look at the corner of the bar. Sure enough, there is the man, the legend, Jack Morris. Turns out he was on his way to throw out a first pitch at a baseball game in South Dakota somewhere, when he noticed he, Jack Morris, was driving by Morris and had to stop and get a beer. What are the odds.
Mark immediately says we have to have him sign something. I ask if he happens to have a Jack Morris rookie card in his wallet. He asks me the same thing. To the utter surprise of both of us, neither of us carried baseball cards in our wallets. So I mention that I have a baseball back at my apartment, a mile away.
We start jogging to get it, because who knows when you’ll see a MN sports legend in a bar again. Also, our dad is a huge Minnesota Twin’s fan. To the point that when he had twin sons born in ’88, he tried to have us named Kent and Kirby (obviously my mom won that battle). It will be worth it to give him the ball.
We get back to the bar and I realize that Jack Morris has been left to drink and watch the Twins lose a game in peace. So I walk up and say, ‘Hey I’m Matt and this is my twin brother Mark. It would be awesome if you could sign this ball for our dad.”
Jack Morris replies, “What, do you walk around with a baseball in your pocket or something?” But he signed the ball.
One of the many benefits of going to the University of Minnesota, Morris. I guess I need to get my kids to go the a college in a town called Mauer.