My neighbor has Hank Greenberg inscribed on one of his balls; he is inordinately proud of this. You might say he’s a fan. The circumstances under which I discovered my neighbor’s asset need not detain us unduly. It was one of the gloomy, frigid, empty-shelf days in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy’s blitz on New York City, and I needed some sugar.

This encounter began as everything important always has—with a question, and that question opened his door. I got what I needed but returned later with a slice of the pie his generous sugar-sharing had made possible. That’s when Benjamin’s balls entered the picture....

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