ATHENS — They say one good turn deserves another.
Clarence and Barbara Randall and Bill Donovan had that experience recently. Bill thought it would be nice for Clarence to get a couple of Yankees items and got much more than he bargained for.
Bill Donovan called the Yankees to see about getting a souvenir or two for his friend Clarence, who along with wife Barbara became big fans after Clarence suffered a stroke eight years ago. Clarence is still suffering the effects of the stroke and Bill thought he’d see if the Yankees had an item or two they could send out to a fan.
“They’re such good people,” Donovan recalled thinking.” I’m going to try this.”
Two attempts yielded nothing and when he hung up the phone after the second call, he thought, “well, I lost again.’’
Someone at the front office said he’d have to see an agent.
“I think he thought I was looking for an autograph,” said Bill.
Then he called the media office.
“A lady told me an address in New York City I had to go to,” said Bill. “I put the phone down and thought, ‘well, I’m a little disappointed.’ Then 10 minutes later the phone rang and there it was: New York Yankees.”
Germania Delores Hernandez of the Media Relations office was on the other end of the line.
She first asked what size shirts Clarence wears. Then she surprised Bill by asking him what size shirt HE wears.
“Oh, this isn’t for me, it’s for him (Clarence),” recalled Bill of their conversation. “She said ‘well, you deserve to get it.’”
And that’s how a Dodgers fan from way back, who also liked the Yankees, is now also a bigger Yankees fan.
Hernandez shipped out five shirts — a Yankees shirt and a HOPE shirt for each of the guys and a shirt for Barbara — hats for each; bobbleheads of Babe Ruth and Whitey Ford; sunglasses, a replica 1977 championship ring for each; bean bag announcers and more.
All Bill had asked for was a souvenir or two.
“She didn’t have to do that,” said Bill of the whole box full of items Hernandez sent, adding that she must have realized the request was authentic and not just somebody out for personal gain.
For the Randalls, who were farmers, fandom is relatively new.
“We never did sports. We never had time,” said Barbara, recounting that they had taken two days off in 11 years. “When Clarence had his stroke, we lived at our son’s.”
That’s when they got hooked on the pinstripers.
It probably didn’t hurt that Barbara’s dad had been a Yankees fan.
The Randalls are impressed by what their friend did.
“He’s such a good soul,” said Barbara of Bill. “He’s always trying to help somebody out. He really cares for Clarence as his buddy and he wanted to do something nice for Clarence.”