During the past few days I have been gently chided by my Faithful Reader and both of my sporadic ones, which is the most action I’ve had in years so I thank them for that. Their chiding centered on the recent paucity of posts to these pages, if these pages are, in fact, pages at all.
The readers are, of course, right; there hasn’t been much happening here for a while. But I can offer excuse for my apparent slothfulness and laziness in two words: baseball.
On September 17, 1954 my grandfather, a rabid baseball fan, took me to my first major league game at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. The game featured his beloved, hometown Indians against the hated New York Yankees, whom he considered to be the spawns of Satan. I remember very little about the game, except that Mickey Mantle thrilled my seven-year-old self by cranking a majestic homerun into the right field stands.
But I was hooked, and ever since that hazy, muggy, fall afternoon on the shore of Lake Erie, I have been somewhat obsessive about baseball in general and the Cleveland Indians in particular. (For the relentlessly Politically Correct amongst us, I should point out that the team was allegedly named, in a turn-of-the-previous-century poll sponsored by a Cleveland newspaper, in honor of the fans’ favorite player, Louis Sockalexis, a full-blooded Penobscot from Maine who was known as “The Deerfoot of the Diamond.”)
In any event, I am a full-blooded baseball junkie, especially in October when the playoffs and World Series roll around. Doesn’t matter if the Indians are involved or not; I can always muster enough emotional involvement to feel elated or distressed no matter who is playing.
Since 1959, I have missed exactly three innings of the World Series. It happened in 1978 – Dodgers vs Yankees – when I had to take my nine-year-old son to his youth soccer game. And I have, to my ongoing shame, never let him forget it.
Well, the playoffs end tonight and the 2008 World Series begins at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
So my annual October hibernation shall continue for a while longer.
But, despite the distractions of baseball, political debates and wondering if Sarah Palin would ever appear on “Saturday Night Live” with Tina Fey (she did, last night), I am nearing the completion of “Road Trip, Part II,” the epic story of my journey to Chet Helms’ birthplace to meet his cousin. So please hang in there, or here.
Thank you for your understanding and your patience, both of which I assume you possess in abundant quantities.