In the neverending string of disjointed thoughts, I realized that I hadn’t spoken of the greatest sport ever conceived by the mind of man for a while.
Ahh yes, baseball.
My mind wanders back to those days as a child making the two and a half hour drive to Cleveland from home to watch the 1987 Cleveland Indians play in the not so friendly confines of Municipal Staduim. It was a cool night when Steve Carlton struck out his 4,100th man, and I was there. I think the Tribe lost the game but it didn’t matter, just sitting there near the field that I’d seen on television with my dad was the greatest thing in the world.
In 1993, my best friend and I won an auction for the right to take some batting practice on the field at the Stadium. We knew that it was going to be torn down later, so it was doubly special. Hitting live pitching was kind of tough, as the other older gentlemen ‘round about us weren’t as adept with a bat, but I did get one to center field. No one even came close to the seats. While the other guys were taking pitches, we could just walk around the stadium and check things out. In the bullpen, we saw the memorial to Steve Olin, who had passed away in a tragic accident the year before. Though we were not sure if we were allowed, we went through the visitor’s dugout to the long walkway back to the lockerroom. Only one person was there, the greatest starting pitcher that the Seattle Mariners had at the time, Randy Johnson. All six feet and ten inches of him. He thought we were part of the press, and we didn’t give him any reason to think otherwise. It didn’t take him long to figure out that the two starstruck teenagers were somewhere they weren’t supposed to be. He politely mentioned that there was a $500 fine for being in the lockerroom, and we promptly took him at his word, and walked back out to the field.
I almost went back to get one of the baseballs that he had already signed. I kick myself to this day for not doing it.