The picture above was taken in the summer of 1999. My last post about seeing Bill Clinton in Wrigley Field that year got me thinking about this topic, and this is one of the pre-digital camera photos that until this moment has only existed in a box in my basement. By digitizing it, and putting it on the internet, the picture will live forever. Or for as long as there’s an internet, but I’ll just say forever and leave it at that.
The ball that my daughter is holding/attempting to chew on is the ball I got at the Cubs-Brewers game that Bill Clinton attended. I’d like to think one or both of my girls would want to have it as a reminder of me some day, decades from now, but until then it sits on a shelf in the basement. How would it be if I was remembered by a baseball? I actually like that idea.
My now-teenage daughter tolerates baseball, at best. She has other passions and interests, and I encourage those in every way that I can, but the baseball bug never bit her, or her sister, the way it once did me. And that’s fine, because they are more important to me than baseball is, anyway. I’m happy with them, however they are. Baseball fans or not.
In his Hall of Fame induction speech, Andre Dawson said that if you love baseball, the game will love you back. And that’s probably true, but it can’t ask me to tell it a bedtime story, or say anything that can make me smile or laugh. So the two great loves of my life–family and baseball–are represented in this picture. One fills my day with happiness, and makes me into a better person. And the other is a ball with red stitches. I’m glad to have both of them in my life, but I’ll never get the two confused with each other, either.