Best. Birthday. Present. EVAH!

Friday night when my friends said “Wait, the night isn’t over!  Kelly wants to give you your birthday present before we leave!” , the last thing I expected to be extracted from her trunk was a six foot long, heavyweight poster of Kyle Snyder from his first season in Boston.  And when I say  “heavyweight”, I’m not kidding.  This thing is, essentially, a giant tarp with a photo of Kyle on it.  There was a time when it hung in a shadow box above the Yawkey Way store (an example here, for those not familiar with the display), alerting us that Kyle would be pitching that night.  But a few weeks ago it sat in Fenway at the bottom of a pile of ex-Red Sox players waiting for someone to come along and claim it.

It was my good fortune that there was someone there who claimed it just for me.  Kelly O’Connor is not just an amazing photographer and one of the smartest people I know (and not just about baseball), but she’s a dear friend who knows me much too well.  It was also, as far as I can recall, the first time in my life that I was so pleasantly surprised by something.  It’s tough to surprise me.  I have great instincts and can usually guess gifts and such quite easily, even though I never betray that to the gift-giver.  Not so this time.  Not at all.  My friends who were there on Friday can attest to the fact that I, the one who never seems to shut up, was speechless.  Hell, just typing this entry I’m smiling ear to ear.

I’m just, still, so genuinely touched (and tickled) to have been given this present.  The photo above doesn’t do it justice (I took the photo after spreading it across my bed and this photo doesn’t even capture the entire poster).  Once I put it up (after I figure out just where the hell to put it!), I’ll take another photo which will, hopefully, give you a better idea of how enormous it is.

Seriously, though, how cool is this?

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