That has to be one of my best blog titles that I have come up with. Yes, tonight, I did buy Johnny Bench a margarita. I also bought one for Doug Flynn. After weeks of on again and off again updates, the Mad Boar Block Party for the Hope For The Warriors charity was held tonight. With COVID going on, it looked like the event was going to be canceled this year. Up until this afternoon, I thought it had.
I had been talking directly with folks from the charity on Facebook, and they weren't even sure that Johnny Bench was going to be there tonight. I had heard from a couple friends that he was going to show, but this was after I had already told my friends Dugan, Jackson and Billy that I had confirmed he wouldn't be here. Those three ended up making plans today, so I was disappointed that they weren't able to come tonight when I did confirm through the Mad Boar restaurant that Bench would be coming.
Luckily, I already had my cards ready to go; I especially wanted this 1973 Topps card that I had already had signed by Blue Moon Odom signed by Bench. His signature pretty much drowns out Odom's, but it still is a really cool card to get both signatures on.
Of course I had to go with a couple 1987 Topps themed cards. I really wanted to get one of my National Card Show VIP cards (above right) signed by someone, and the 2017 Topps Silver Pack 87 chrome really looks awesome in person.
I also got this 2017 Topps 87 mini signed because the rate they charged me for my Bench autos was too good to pass up.
The two 1982 cards (above middle and right) were leftovers from when I went last year, but didn't get them signed. Again, the rate was so good, I couldn't pass them up, so I ended up getting everything I had with me signed.
Speaking of everything I had with me; I did bring one Doug Flynn card with me. I had found a 1986 Topps card of Flynn. Apparently, for the longest time, Flynn would never sign that card. Recently, Bench held an auction for a children's hospital and Flynn signed around 20 of those cards for a $400 donation. He held my card and debated with Bench for a while (Bench told him to charge me $20), until Flynn finally asked me for my address and told me he would mail me "something nice" instead. I'm interested to see what that would be.
Oh yeah, I bought Flynn a margarita as well. The story behind the drinks is that last year, after our first go round with Bench (which, truthfully didn't come off all that well), I went back through the line after Bench had partaken of some beverages. I told Bench that I'd buy him a drink, but then someone else brought some. He said "Oh, I've already got one, but thank you..." So, this year, I told him that I still owed him a drink, and he said he would always be up for one. He and Flynn both wanted margaritas, so I went to the bar and bought them some. When I got back with the drinks, both Flynn and Bench were really surprised (as were the Hope For The Warriors personnel); and both Bench and Flynn now know my name.
Also, when I was getting my cards signed, I asked Bench who he had been the most star struck in meeting. He responded with "Well, I met Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford. Had candlelight dinner with both Bushes. I used to call Bob Hope every week." I thought that was pretty cool. My experience with Bench this year was far better than last year (and last year really wasn't all that bad, don't get me wrong). I definitely will mark the Hope For The Warriors benefit on my calendar and try to go again next year.