Adding another digit

I’m watching the World Series now, and I want to squeeze this one in before the game’s over so I can do my post-game review, so here goes…

In 1996, Sammy Sosa was having a very good year. Not the herculean, gargantuan, 66 homers and 160 RBI seasons that he would put up a few years later, but a great season nonetheless. As he stepped into the batter’s box in the first inning of a game in late August–more than a month away from the end of the season–he was sitting at 40 homers and 99 RBIs.

The first three hitters of the game had all walked (I’ve forgotten who the pitcher was by now, and this isn’t the time to look it up), and the pitcher was having some trouble getting the ball over the plate. So Sammy stepped in and…took one off his hand. The run that came across was his 100th RBI of the season, but he earned it the hard way.

Sammy stayed in the game for a few more innings, and eventually came out in the third or fourth inning. After the game, it was announced that he had broken a bone in his hand, and was finished for the season. But at least he got that 100th RBI before he left.

Adding a digit is usually a good thing. Lots of big league pitchers can throw 98 or 99 miles an hour, but you can count on one hand the number that can reach 100. It’s the same with RBIs. 99 RBIs might be an excellent season, but that 100th one, whenever it comes, turns it into something special.

And so it is with this post. I set up this blog last June, not knowing what it would turn into or how long it would last. As I wrote more and more, and let out some of the ideas that had been buried inside my head for way too long, I realized that this could have some staying power. So I went back and created a spreadsheet of all my posts, with their name, date, title, and word count. A bit geeky, I know, but also a bit like wearing a pedometer around all day long. You won’t know if you’ve hit 10,000 steps for the day unless you bother to keep track of them all.

Somewhere in this post will be the 100,000th word I’ve written for BlueBattingHelmet. I’ve only scratched the surface of what I can write, but I also know that adding the next digit–which will be at one million words–is a long way down the road. Perhaps I’ll write a book once I get to that milestone.

But I think that 100,000 words is a pretty good start. And if you’ve read even a few of those words, I thank you for doing so. I’ll keep writing these posts, whether anybody reads them or not, but I’ll always be aware that somebody, somewhere, could find a few of the words I’ve written and learn something new. Or think about something in a new way. Or just escape whatever is bothering them, if only for a moment or two. Any of those outcomes would be just fine with me.

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