Is Raleigh Coupons in the Hall of Fame?

Chatting in the car on the way home from tennis, our first outing of the season, I told my buddy Mike about the book I’ve been reading, “Hearts in Atlantis” by Stephen King. Actually, I’d been dying to tell him about one thing in the book: little Bobby Garfield’s Alvin Dark autographed baseball glove.
Not a lot of my friends would know the name Alvin Dark but I knew Mike would. Alvin Dark was a Major League baseball player who had some of his best years as a short stop with the New York Giants. This was in the ’50s, before they moved to San Francisco. Mike is a lifelong Giants fan.
When we were Little Leaguers, an autographed baseball glove was something to be coveted. And something I never had.
These were gloves with, say, Mickey Mantle’s signature on them. Or Stan Musial’s, or Al Kaline’s. Or Alvin Dark’s.
“I never got one of those,” I told Mike. “They were too expensive. I wouldn’t dream of asking for one. I had a glove, but it was nothing special.”
I told Mike for some strange reason I liked the shortstop Ronnie Hansen who played for the Orioles. This was about 1960, maybe ’61. So I got a pen and copied his autograph from a baseball card onto my glove.
But I either did a lousy job or none of the other kids ever heard of Ronnie Hansen because a bunch of them started calling me “Ronnie.” It wore off after just a game or two which was probably for the best.
Mike said he had a Billy Martin autographed glove but he couldn’t imagine how his parents afforded it.
As he was trying to recall, he said, “Do you remember Raleigh Coupons?”
I came this close to saying, “No, who did he play for?” when I realized what he meant.
Back then there were coupons on packs of Raleigh cigarettes.
“I think my dad got me the glove with Raleigh coupons,” Mike went on before I could make a fool of myself.
But by then I was laughing so much I had to tell him so he could enjoy it too. Which he did. Thoroughly.
We concluded if Raleigh Coupons were an actual ballplayer he’d have to have been a slick fielding, light hitting second baseman.
Probably for the Cubs.
Maybe the Tigers.

Ed Ackerman