Southsider Voice writer
I ended up going on a nostalgic trip when packing away items to get my mother-in-law’s home ready to sell.
A dresser in the master bedroom was more like a mini-time capsule of mementoes and memories, the result of living 58 years in the same house. Each drawer contained precious items like a grade school graduation photo from 1949, a U.S. Army garrison hat circa 1958 and a drawer full of every birthday card my wife, Rose, received from age 1 to 16.
Of particular interest to me were the programs from various sporting events and the beat-up New York Yankees hat that my father-in-law bought after driving from Indianapolis to New York City for Mickey Mantle Day on Sept. 18, 1965.
Fifteen years ago my father-in-law passed away, and even though we had often talked about the sporting events he attended, I had put them in the back of my mind until now.
Tucked away in a Butler University program was a letter that my dad wrote in 1970 (he passed away in 1980) to encourage members of the Holy Name Men’s Club to pay dues for the upcoming year in an effort to increase membership and to please attend the next meeting featuring legendary Butler coach Tony Hinkle. My father was a close friend with my wife’s father, but it was startling to find such a letter signed by my dad.
The next thing that we came across was a brochure for the Butler men’s basketball team, which featured a picture of Hinkle along with players Billy Shepherd and Steve Norris. The cost was 75 cents. It had a profile of each player on the team along with the coaching record from each year of Hinkle’s tenure from the 1926-27 to 1968-69. It shows Hinkle as the athletic director and head coach for basketball, baseball and football.
Next, we found a program for the sixth annual testimonial dinner held by the Notre Dame Club of Indianapolis. The dinner honored coach Ara Parseghian and his football team, which won the 1971 Cotton Bowl. The brochure was signed by Parseghian and All-Americans Joe Theismann and Tom Gatewood.
I also came across a program that featured Butler basketball guard Wayne Burris on the cover for the game at Market Square Arena in 1976. The pamphlet sold for 50 cents and featured ads from American Fletcher National Bank, Lums Family Restaurant, Em-Roe Sporting Goods and Haag Drug.
The Butler-Notre Dame basketball game from the 1969-70 season was relived through a program. The Bulldogs’ roster sported sophomore guard Greg Hardin from Greenwood, Joe Pearson and Lennie Wright. The Irish, coached by Johnny Dee, countered with captain Austin Carr, Jim Hinga and Collis Jones.
I found four programs – each cost 50 cents – from the 1963-66 World Series, which were played at Yankee, Busch, Metropolitan and Dodger stadiums. There was also a program from the 1970 All-Star game at the new Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati.
Two of the last items that I ran across included programs from the Indiana-Ohio Collegiate All-Star game sponsored by the Indiana Sertoma Charities Inc. A ticket shows that admission was only $2.50 for the contest at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
A program from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., shows a plethora of pictures from Abner Doubleday to eight presidents who had thrown out the first pitch on opening day. The program has the lifetime batting averages of those in the hall.
All of these treasures are now cherished by me and my wife. They are safely tucked away in our dresser for someone else to find decades from now.