Take Me Out to the Ballgame

I’ve noticed there are quite a few baseball fans who frequent Shakespeare’s Sister, and those who have been around here awhile know that I am the most tragic of baseball fans—a diehard Cubs fan (still currently in mourning over the loss of my beloved Alou).

So the following is for all of you, and is also an homage to my dad, to whom I owe many of the good parts of myself, including both my passion for politics (even though my political leanings are perhaps not what he had hoped) and my passion for baseball.

When my dad was a kid, he was a spectacular baseball player—a pitcher. He had an awesome arm that fell to the mercy of its own talent; this was just before regulations were instituted prohibiting pitching limitless consecutive innings, and so at 21, he blew out his elbow after years of overuse. However, the year before, he had the opportunity to pitch against Satchel Paige.

Satchel was 65, and had arrived in West Lafayette, Indiana as part of a tour of retired players. An exhibition game was held with the local team, and my dad had the great honor of being the starting pitcher. The game was called for rain; the All-Stars won, in no small part due to the paralyzing awe that plagued their young opponents.

After the game, my dad was able to speak with Mr. Paige, and their picture was taken for the paper.

I’m 30 years old, and I have heard this story countless times. Last night, I asked to hear it again. And I will ask to hear it again and again, each spring, as I anticipate the start of a new season.

Play ball!

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