I recently contributed a piece to a baseball blogger who undertook a blogathon to honor a friend who had passed away. He asked for pieces about our best baseball memories, and for me it was an easy decision as to what that was. The piece appears here, and it literally poured right out of me. It was a joy to write.
I found the piece online today, and I posted a link to it on Facebook. I sometimes think I overdo it with baseball writing, but this came from my heart, and that set it apart from most of the stuff I do. So onto Facebook it went.
The piece was read and complimented by an old teammate of mine. For several years back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, we played Khoury League baseball, first for Horace Mann, and then for First National Bank of Springfield, Illinois. Other than family relations, I can’t think of a more important bond with someone than that.
The piece that I wrote had to do with my father taking me to see a doubleheader in St. Louis back in 1975. If my dad had taken me to a basketball game instead, perhaps that would be the sport I write about all the time. But my dad doesn’t care about basketball, and neither do I. Basball is his game, and that makes it mine, too.
My old teammate, who I haven’t seen or physically talked to for 30 years, recently lost his father. Not only does Facebook allow us to reconnect with people who had previously vanished into the mists of time, it allows us to keep up with what’s going on in their lives. And that’s something we probably haven’t had before, either.
I remember my old teammate’s dad. He was one of the coaches on our baseball team, a guy who was about as old then as I am now, helping to pass the game on to his son and those who played on his team. The game means something–no, it means everything–when it comes to us that way.
My old teammate thanked me for the piece, and told me that I have a gift. To someone who tries to walk a line between self-confidence and utter humility, those words meant a lot to me. And the gift, as I saw it, was hearing that something I wrote had meant something to him. Never before had I been so glad that I put something on Facebook.