The Season To Be Jolly

March 28, 2011

When I was young, I tried to frame time in a way I could handle. Like this: The day after the day after tomorrow, there will be baseball again. Yankees will take the field in the Bronx. And all will be right in my world. Surely I will start sleeping through the night again. I’ll stop clenching my jaw to the point of awful headaches. My house will be clean? Too far. I always go too far.

In celebration of finally reaching the very week that promises opening day, some favorite baseball quotes:

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” –Rogers Hornsby

“It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.” – A. Bartlett Giamatti

“So I’m ugly. So what? I never saw anyone hit with his face.”     – Yogi Berra

“Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.” –Satchel Paige

“The true harbinger of spring is not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of the bat on the ball.” – Bill Veeck

“Nothing flatters me more than to have it assumed that I could write prose–unless it be to have it assumed that I once pitched a baseball with distinction.”        – Robert Frost

“If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there is a man on base.” – Dave Barry

Three days and counting. Fa la la la la la la la la.


Doby, Satch and Pedro

November 23, 2010

I know Thanksgiving isn’t a wishing holiday, and that there’s probably no such thing as a wishing holiday, especially for adults. But I keep wishing I could sit down and watch baseball with some old-time players, and just listen to them talk.

I’ve been reading through some transcripts of the former Commissioner of Baseball, Fay Vincent, interviewing Larry Doby. I don’t know about you, but I never got to see Satchell Paige pitch. So I especially enjoyed reading this, from a 2004 interview:

LD: I think that Afro-Americans …were …great supporters. And great rooters, they root for you like mad. And I remember in 1946, when the Newark Eagles won the Negro League World Series, and we beat Satchel Paige two games, three to two and two to one.…Satch…if you probably have seen …the kid from Boston–

FV: Martinez. Pedro?

LD: Yeah, Pedro. Same kind of movement on the pitch. And finger-wise. If you notice how long Pedro’s fingers are, Satchel’s fingers were long like that and a thin hand, and just a nice, easy, easy movement.

I know it’s the research geek in me, but I love that detail. The finger length, the thin hand, the movement on the pitch. How great would it have been to watch a game sitting with Larry Doby, listening to him share details just like that?

Since it is a giving-thanks time, I will send mine toward Cooperstown, yet again, for preserving history and almost making those kinds of conversation possible.