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Muslim Baseball Fans Lose Jersey to Hall of Famer

July 28, 2011 by  


By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

roberto-alomar-aids
File:  Roberto Alomar

Life-long Toronto Blue Jays fans Fiyaz Kanji and Owais Farooqui have moved away from Toronto, where they grew up, but they remain loyal. The pair even made the trip to Cooperstown from Boston over the weekend to see Roberto Alomar’s enshrinement as the team’s first Hall of Famer. But in an odd twist of fate, and clearly part of a misunderstanding, Alomar took a jersey from them during his parade procession and the pair have yet to retrieve it.

Kanji and his wife, Azra, now live in Boston. Farooqui, who lives in Los Angeles, had flown to Boston to see his friends after a stop in Seattle for work. The three of them left Boston at 6 a.m. Saturday to make the four-hour-plus drive to Cooperstown. Once they arrived, they wanted to get an Alomar T-shirt, but on this day, anyway, they were tough to find in the right size. “It was a shirt that everyone was buying,” Farooqui told Deadspin.com. “All day I was looking for that shirt.”

Farooqui finally bought a shirt to his liking for around $50. The group then lined up for the parade, which was held the day before Sunday’s induction ceremony. Farooqui held the shirt and waved it, hoping to get Alomar’s attention, while Kanji took video footage that has been placed on YouTube and has gone viral.

“He called me over,” said Farooqui. “I thought he was just going to shake my hand or give me a high-five. He took the shirt and waved it a little. I thought maybe he would autograph it or something. He just turned and kept going.”

After realizing they probably weren’t getting the shirt back, Farooqui and the Kanjis raced to the end of the parade route, hoping maybe to get Alomar’s attention. But Alomar ducked into the Hall before they could get to him.

“We were excited he took it at first,” Kanji told Deadspin. “Then we realized we weren’t going to get it back. I want the damn shirt back.” The latest word has the Toronto Blue Jays making contact with the two men, with the possibility of compensation in the form of other gifts. But there is no word yet as to whether the jersey in question makes it back into the hands of its rightful owners.

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