By Carol Piersoll
Wife to Chris Piersoll
In the past week, we received two separate autograph requests for the Hubs to sign. This comes with the territory when you play a sport professionally. There was a day when the Hubs got paid to sign baseball cards. He would sit at our kitchen table with a representative from Topps or Bowman looking over his shoulder as witness while he personally endorsed a series of 500 cards.
However, come September it will have been 10 years since he threw his first and last major league pitch. Come June it will be 4 years since he "retired" from the sport altogether, at the ripe old age of 29. These autograph requests are not being mailed to the baseball field, he's not receiving them at the clubhouse, he's getting them at HOME.
We moved twice in 2010 (one move was to a rental house with no public record of our occupancy and the 2nd move was to our forever home) and still these cards find us.
Creepy? A little.
Invasion of our privacy? Perhaps.
The Hubs has always been less than thrilled to acquiesce to these requests. A few years ago, I would prompt him "Just sign it. It might be the last request you ever get." He refused. Now, I kinda get it. If he signs these cards and sends them back in their prepaid envelopes then the sender will know that is our valid address... and that's not okay.
In addition to the whole privacy issue, these requests bring back bittersweet memories of a sport that he loves but they also surface a hole in our lives where baseball once was. A hole, that we've been filling over the last four years with a "normal" family life.
That first year of retirement was rough to say the least. We were a new family with a 14 month old baby, when Hubs decided he wanted to end his career on his own terms. He didn't want to be a minor-league lifer. His shoulder wasn't bouncing back after his surgery. His velocity wasn't ever going to be what it once was, and he wasn't getting any younger. He wanted to be with his family. He knew it was time to go in a new direction and I supported that. However, this meant BIG change. Not only did he have to find employment that did not involve a curve ball or slider for the first time in his adult life, but we also had to adjust to being together all year round.
The old adage "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is true. Being together six months out of the year, and then apart for six months was all we knew. That was our normal. Suddenly, we were together every single day for an entire year. The intensity of - I'm going to love and dote on you while you are here. I'm going to soak up every second I have with you because I know you are leaving - kinda vanished. We lost the - I missed you so much - passion. We had to learn how to live together FOR-EV-ER. I know that sounds kinda ridiculous but it really was a big adjustment. And then there was the whole "What will I do for work now?" thing.
Luckily ex-baseball players make really awesome salesmen, and Hubs found his niche. The competition factor that motivated him since his days of little league really comes in handy in sales. Our conversations at the dinner table no longer revolve around ERA, BP, and Appearances, but Percent to Margin, Kicker Checks, and Quotas instead.
And, I'm good with that now. It turns out that he's a far better provider in Sales than he ever was in baseball.
It turns out that having him at home all year round is a huge blessing. It turns out that our little girls get to have Daddy tuck them in every night. It turns out that baseball will always be a huge part of our past, but it's not our future. It turns out that the baseball doesn't last forever (for most of us), and when it's over, it just might be the best thing that ever happened.
So, I will stow these autograph requests away, I'll think back fondly on our baseball days, and I'll smile...for we are blessed.
The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.