I'm a little upset with my mom right now.
When I was young, the majority of Mets games were on WWOR-TV, Channel 9. The broadcasters were mainly Tim McCarver and Ralph Kiner, with a rotating cast of others, Steve Zabriskie is the first to come to mind. This is why I have a sentimental attachment to Tim McCarver, despite the fact that so many people don't like him - he reminds me of 1980's Mets baseball.
In the late 80's, or thereabouts, WWOR-TV started a segment during Mets games called "Ask Tim & Ralph". In the segment, viewers were encouraged to send a postcard with your name and address and a question for Tim & Ralph. I don't remember whether the segment was meant for viewers to try to stump Tim & Ralph with some sort of trivia (as we shall see, this is how I interpreted it), or if the viewer was meant to seek analysis of a situation, like, "Is this Juan Samuel really worth the Mets trading Lenny Dykstra and Roger McDowell?"
I wanted to get a question on the air. I don't think the question that was selected won anything, other than the glory of the sender seeing his or her name on TV, and Tim & Ralph answering their question on TV. But that was good enough for me in the late '80's. So I sent in my question, and waited for my name to turn up faithfully, every game, waiting for the segment to come on...then never seeing my question.
I only sent one postcard, so my chances were probably one in a million. But that one always had me clinging to the hope that one day I would see my question come up in a bottom-third graphic, and there would be my name on the TV! The segment lasted a couple of years, if I remember correctly, and I remember thinking it must have been a popular segment, if they never had the chance to get a 9-year-old's question on the air.
This failure became my punchline. I had a cousin who was lucky enough to get down on the field and meet some Yankees. I used to tell her, "Wow. You're lucky. I couldn't even get my question on 'Ask Tim & Ralph'." Whenever someone had something good happen to them, that was my response, "I couldn't even get my question on 'Ask Tim & Ralph'."
Turns out that one in a million chance was actually a zero percent chance. My parents, as you well know, are cleaning out the house. Last weekend, when we were visiting on our way back from vacation, my mom came up to me and said, "John, look what I found, isn't this cute?!" And imagine my surprise when she showed me this:
She never mailed it. I never had a chance.
COMMENT ON THE COMMENTS: In response to the Southern Bureau's comment - Rochester had a really good free breakfast buffet at the Marriott Residence Inn. I can't say enough good things about Residence Inns - love them. That's about all I have to say about Rochester. Except I much preferred driving through western/upstate New York than western Pennsylvania.