Nothing like quoting from an old Night Ranger song to start a post, is there? I actually like their song “Goodbye” because it has a wistful, reminiscent air about it. Which is just how I feel about Mark Prior and the Chicago Cubs.
It’s now been a decade since he pitched the Cubs to the edge of the World Series, and almost that long since he did anything worth noticing on a baseball diamond. He got hurt, like many athletes do, and his physical gifts couldn’t survive that process. I wish it hadn’t happened like that, but life is full of such disappointments.
But there was always a hope for a Hollywood ending, or another shot at making it in the big leagues again. I really wanted that to happen for him, to show that the past can sometimes be just a prologue. But it seems that it couldn’t, at least not in this case.
Mark Prior recently retired from baseball, and the memories–good ones as well as bad–will now be retired along with him. I wrote a piece for ThroughTheFenceBaseball, putting my thoughts into a little more focus. But the guitar strumming at the beginning of Night Ranger’s song is always going to accompany any thoughts about his career.
It’s sad that what once looked like a great career has reached its end, but all things have to end sometime, and the true end in this case came many years ago. Now that end has to be reckoned with, and it’s on to the next thing. So shall it always be in life.