Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University where he pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeyes from 1971 through 1974. He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league umpire for seven seasons, working for the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA). He has written for numerous websites, and for the past fourteen years has served as columnist and photo editor for The Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press, in Lincoln Nebraska. His interests include history, support for amateur baseball, the outdoors, and he has a music degree from Ohio State University.

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Mindy turned 60 this week with more commotion than the latest Wiki leak from Julian Assange…just the way she likes it!

Monday, my first wife, Mindy, turned 60…I think.  (I’ve only had one wife.  I just say that for accuracy’s sake).

And I say ‘I think’ because when we met I asked her when her birthday was…and she told me her dad had always told her that she was born on the day Don Larson pitched the perfect game in the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

“Oh, so your birthday is Oct. 8th,” I clarified.

“No,” she corrected. “It’s Oct. 3rd.”

“Well your dad either brought home the wrong baby or he had too many Strohs…because Don Larson pitched his perfect game in Game 5 on Oct. 8,” I told her. “You can look it up because it’s a momentus day in baseball history.”

“Dad said it was Oct. 3, and I believe him,” she demanded.

“Oh,” I said. “Well don’t ever tell the Dodgers.”

And son of a gun…years later after we were married we were visiting a friend working for the Atlanta Braves and the Dodgers were playing the Braves in Atlanta. My friend gave us a tour of the broadcast booths at Fulton County Stadium and low and behold…there was Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully, one of the nicest people in the world.

We were introduced to Scully and he asked Mindy if she knew anything about the Dodgers.

“I know I was born on the same day that Don Larson pitched the perfect game against them in the 1956 World Series,” she declared confidently.

“Oh,” said Scully. “I did that game on radio…October 8th, 1956.”

“No, my dad said it was October 3rd,” said Mindy.

scully_thumb091312Scully shook his head and added, “Mindy, I don’t know when your birthday is, but it was nice to meet you.”

Case closed!

And on the subject of birthdays ours is without question a house divided. Mindy looks forward to hers like Hillary looks forward to money from the Middle East. My birthday comes in February and pretty much goes like Trump passing a beggar.

She is, of course, one of the most popular people in the history of Piqua public schools, having retired three years ago after 35 years in the classroom. She happily showed me yesterday where she’d gotten 250 birthday wishes from friends and former students on Facebook, and she keeps track of those kids like the Good Shepherd looks for that one lost sheep. She’s a birthday campaigner and told me so from day one. So today, after 35 years, everybody knows, and everybody remembers.

On the contrary, when my birthday came last February I think I got one piece of mail,  and it was from the IRS – an $1,100 penalty for sending in some 1099 forms late. When I was growing up in the hills outside Ironton birthdays were pretty much just another day. A special one might get you dinner at Big Boy (back when Big Boys were a quarter), or my mom would bake a cherry pie (and at 88 she still bakes the best).

So back to the question of whether Mindy was born on October 3rd, or October 8th.

Officially, the birth certificate does say October 3, 1956, to Marvin and Linda Meininger. But Mindy, ever the opportunist over birthday loot and recognition, has somehow managed to extend the celebratory period over the years to not just one day…but the five days spanning October 3rd to the 8th. It’s a good thing for me.

One, if the 3rd slips up on me and I forget I have a viable excuse to tell her I still have four more days to shop.

Sonny_inset0211Two, because I have waited until the 8th before, she’s become accustomed to waiting…patiently.

It’s the best of both worlds. She’s happy anticipating whatever comes in those five days. And I get an extension…like the one I have now from the IRS.

But 60! Think of that in baseball terms. Ruth hit 60 home runs in 1927. Bill Mazeroski hit the home run to beat the Yankees in the ninth inning of Game 7 in 1960; and my friend Harvey Haddix (from Springfield) won two games in that same Series. And, the greatest hitter that ever lived, Ted Williams, hit a home run in his last at bat before retiring…in 1960.

No, you can bet that Mindy’s not dwelling on turning 60 this week. She’s counting emails and brushing up on her baseball facts.

Happy birthday, Mins. You never know when you’ll run into Vin Scully again!

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