Finding a small package on our doorstep was surprising. Neither my wife nor myself could remember ordering anything, certainly not something to be delivered by UPS.

The note on the inside of the small, heavily taped package was just as perplexing.

At least initially.

It read, “Couldn’t help you out with James, Willie or Bo but here you go!”

I shook my head trying to figure out who James, Willie and Bo were. Then it hit me, like a light bulb turning on above my head the way it would in the cartoons my generation grew up watching.

This is a response to the autograph question.

Nearly a month ago, a question was posed on Twitter by Larry Nance Jr., a power forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He noted he was a big collector of autographed jerseys, so he asked Twitterverse, “If you could have one jersey from only one player in these sports, who would they be?”

He listed NBA, MLB, NFL and professional soccer as the categories.

Since it had been shared and answered by some of my colleagues, I decided to chime in as well. These were my choices:

NBA — James Worthy.

MLB — Willie McGee.

NFL — Bo Jackson.

Soccer — Dev Reeves.

Depending on where you lived and who you rooted for, the first three were icons in the 1980s and the other was a hometown hero.

When I read that note from inside the package a third time, I realized then who the James, Willie and Bo being referenced actually were. That’s when I discovered what was in the package.

A signed No. 17 Dallas Sidekicks jersey worn by Dev Reeves.

Giddy might be a good way to describe my reaction. There aren’t many moments I allow myself to get caught up in being a fan of the game instead of a storyteller of it. This happened to be one.

A Quincy native who is enshrined in both the Quincy High School and Quincy University Halls of Fame, Reeves starred at QHS, earning back-to-back all-state honors as a junior and senior before graduating in 1985.

He played four years at QU during the NCAA Division I era, starting 70 of the 71 games he played and finishing with 13 goals and seven assists.

Reeves was named one of the top 30 seniors in the nation in 1988 and turned professional the following spring.

He spent his rookie season in the MISL with the Cleveland Crunch, spent part of the next year in Sweden, then returned to the United States and spent six seasons playing with the St. Louis Ambush and the Dallas Sidekicks.

All the while, Reeves came to Quincy every summer to conduct his All-Star Camp for kids, a week-long event he held for 20 years.

Work in this profession long enough and you will accumulate collectibles and memorabilia from your travels. The ones you display on your desk or bookcase carry a sentimental value, be it a helmet, a baseball, a press pass or a framed newspaper page.

You remember those moments and those people fondly.

So this piece of soccer memorabilia will be prominent in the collection I have created in my home office. It will be framed and serve as a reminder of a friendship born from a shared love of this community and the respect I have for someone who chased and lived out his dream.

There’s nothing more priceless than that.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.