Friday, May 24, 2013


My wife came at me with a bat the other day and floored me.

Yep, she didn't miss -- not on this garage sale find: an autographed Rawlings Big Stick of former Rays All-Star catcher Dioner Navarro. For $8, with another unrelated chotchkie thrown in.

How cool is that? I shouldn't have been surprised. While I'm out hammering with my road bike buddies at the crack of dawn on Saturday mornings, Charmain cruises the garage sales. A savant of the steal, she routinely uncovers unbelievable deals the way a Labrador retriever sniffs out a stale cracker from the couch cushions.

And she's always on the lookout for cards and sports collectibles. While she doesn't know Dioner Navarro from Dave Navarro, she knows a major-league bat when she sees one.

Navarro, the catcher, made his only All-Star appearance in 2008, hitting .295 for the American League champion Rays, my hometown team. He probably had the best season of any Rays catcher in their short history, which isn't saying much. That June, with the chance to solve a position of need for the next decade, they drafted shortstop Tim Beckham over Buster Posey.

If only the Rays had Charmain shopping for them ...

How about that Dioner Navarro on May 29! Three home runs!

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