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Ghosts of Christmases past: Baldwin, Farwell & Sherman remembers
It was Doug Baldwin’s 11th Christmas, and something was visibly wrong.
The kid who would grow into a wide receiver for the Seahawks checked under the tree once, and he checked it twice. What he was seeing just wasn’t right.
“My grandfather, usually he would give me a whole bunch of gifts,” Baldwin said. “That Christmas, gifts were being handed out and I had like maybe two or three gifts. Small gifts, like a couple of books and a pair of socks.
“I was like, ‘Man, I wonder if I was bad or something.’ ”
No, it’s just that Junius Boling had a surprise for his grandson.
“Then my grandfather was like, ‘Oh, one more thing.’ He gave me a card,” Baldwin said. “I opened up the card and it said, ‘Go look on the back porch.’ ”
And what to his wondrous eyes did 11-year-old Doug Baldwin see all those Christmases ago in Gulf Breeze, Fla.?
“There was a Go Kart sitting out there,” the 24-year-old Doug Baldwin recalled, breaking into a large smile just remembering that Christmas. “I was pretty excited.”
So excited that when Baldwin was asked about the best gift he had received at Christmas growing up, the Go Kart raced instantly to mind.
“I didn’t get to jump in it and take off right away,” he said. “They wouldn’t let me. But I was able to ride it a little bit after that.”
To celebrate this Christmas Day, we asked two other Seahawks to also share their memories of the best gifts they received as kids:
Linebacker and special teams co-captain Heath Farwell also went with something he got from his grandfather.
“Me and brother both got BMX bikes,” said Farwell, who grew up in Fontana, Calif. “My grandfather got them for us, and that’s something that’s pretty memorable for me. It was sentimental that my grandfather gave them to us, and it was cool because on Christmas Day in California you can go out and ride them because the sun was out.
Farwell wasn’t very old – 2, maybe 3 – but followed his older brother’s lead.
“We both had brand new bikes,” he said. “And we had a lot of fun with those.”
Cornerback Richard Sherman also grew up in Southern California. Compton, actually, where as he put it, “I never thought we could afford it.”
So what was the memorable gift? “It was a little Hulk Hogan Teddy bear/doll thing that you could kind of fight with,” said Sherman, who remembers being 5 or 6 when he got it. “That was one of the best, other than the Xboxes and all that that came later.
“That was the best because I really wanted it, and thought I had no chance to get it. My parents surprised me and splurged and got it. So I was really happy about that.”
As with Baldwin and Farwell, just remembering that gift and that Christmas brought a smile to Sherman’s face.
“It gave me the most jubilation because I never thought I’d get it,” he said. “So that was a monumental Christmas. I played with that thing, shoot, I would still have it if I hadn’t lost it when we moved. It was great. I loved that thing.”