I have a big box of baseball cards on my desk at work. Every so often, I pull one out to see what it says to me. It’s like a box filled with tarot cards, but the images are all baseball players, instead.
Today I pulled out this card, and it made me stop for a moment. If ten people know about Luis Castillo I’d be surprised. But he was involved with that play, on that night, which happened just a few days short of ten years ago, back in 2003. Everybody knows the image of Moises Alou and the fans at Wrigley Field. I’ve even written about it here before. But Alou was chasing after a foul ball that had been hit by the guy in the picture above.
As much as I’d like to think that it’s all in the past, ten years after it happened, I still think about how disappointed I was that night, and how it left an empty space inside that may never get filled again. I saw it happening, the Cubs in the World Series. It was as if I had test driven a car, pictured myself in it, and found out that I couldn’t buy it, at any price. But this was something a lot more meaningful than a car.
Luis Castillo was the one who got a new lease on life, with one out in the eighth inning in Game Six at Wrigley Field. He was the one who cracked the impenetrable wall that was Mark Prior. He didn’t get the glory that some of the others did, but he was the flashpoint. And for that, he gets to share some space here with Don Zimmer and another clownish figure. It’s the least I could do.