Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 13, 2007 / 29 Menachem-Av, 5767

Dave's Field of Nightmares

By Dave Barry


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When I was a boy, playing Little League baseball, I dreamed — as most boys did back then — of someday getting a call from the Major Leagues.


"Son," I dreamed the Major Leagues would tell me, "you stink. We're kicking you out of Little League." I would have been grateful. I was a terrible player. I was afraid of the ball and fell down a lot, sometimes during the singing of the national anthem. So in 1960, I hung up my Little League uniform for good (it immediately fell down), and I had no contact with organized baseball for the next 40 years.


Then, recently, I was asked to participate in the Joe DiMaggio Legends Game, which raises money for the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood, Fla. I said yes, because a) it's a good cause, and b) because they were asking ME to play, I figured it would be a relaxed, low-key event, like those company-picnic softball games where beer is available in the outfield and as many as six people play shortstop simultaneously.


Imagine my horror when I found myself at a real stadium, with thousands of spectators in the grandstands. Imagine my further horror when I found myself in a locker room containing several dozen former major league baseball players. Some were older guys, such as Minnie Minoso of the White Sox, who I believe once caught a fly ball hit by Magellan. But there were also some guys who had played big-league ball recently and still looked capable of hitting a baseball all the way through a human body.


I expressed concern about this to one of my teammates, the great Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson, who gave me some reassuring advice.


"Don't play in the infield," he said. "You'll get killed."


I was on the American League team, managed by former Yankee John Blanchard. He gave me a nice little pregame pep talk, which I will reproduce here verbatim:


BLANCHARD: You should see how these guys hit the ball.

ME: Hard?

BLANCHARD: Oh, Lord G-d. Are you wearing a cup?

ME: I don't OWN a cup.

BLANCHARD: Oh, Lord G-d.


I did pretty well for the first few innings. This is because I was not in the game. Then Blanchard sent me out to left field to replace Mickey Rivers, which is like replacing Dom Perignon with weasel spit.


I trotted out of the dugout wearing the stiff new glove I'd bought that afternoon. When I brought it home, I removed the price tag and spent a few minutes fielding grounders thrown to me by my wife, who was nine months pregnant and thus could not put a ton of mustard on the ball, which dribbled my way at the velocity of luggage on an airport conveyor belt. That was my preparation for this moment, for standing alone in deep left field, with vivid Little League memories swarming in my brain — memories of praying for the ball not to come to me, and memories of falling down when it did.


So I'm standing out there, and for almost two innings, nothing comes my way. Then it happens: George Foster, five-time All-Star slugger for the Cincinnati Reds, rips a ground ball between second and short. I get a good break on the ball, going to my left, running hard. Foster is rounding first, trying for a double, and the crowd is roaring, and suddenly I realize, with a sense of elation, that I'M ACTUALLY GOING TO GET TO THE BALL. Yes! I can see it clearly, and I have the angle, and I'm closing fast, and I'm going to make it! I'm almost there! And now I'm there! And now OH, NO, I RAN PAST THE BALL. THE BALL IS BACK OVER THERE. OH, NOOOOOOO . . . .


And, of course, I fall down. I've seen a video replay. I look like a man whose lower and upper body halves are being operated by two unrelated nervous systems. I make a pathetic, longing gesture toward the ball as it zips past to the outfield wall, where centerfielder Dave Henderson retrieves it. After he throws it in, he puts his arm on my shoulders and says, "You're supposed to catch the ball in your glove."


I also got to display my batting prowess. The pitcher I faced was Al "The Mad Hungarian" Hrabosky, who still looks as though he has just been kicked out of the Institute for the Criminally Insane for being a little TOO insane, and who can still throw pretty hard (by which I mean "faster than light"). He struck me out on three pitches. I was still swinging at the last one when Hrabosky was in the showers.


So it was a pretty humiliating experience. But mark my words: I'll be back next year, and that's going to be a different story. Because next time, I'll be ready to "play with the big boys." That's right: I'm going to be wearing a cup. TWO cups, in fact, because I'm assuming you need one for each knee.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.


Previously:

Lewis and Clark stepped here!
The ultimate water gun
Poetic license, with no rhyme or reason
Great moments in science
This won't hurt a bit
One giant leap for frogkind
My visit to Nether-Netherland
Smile and say cheese
Shooting carps in Wisconsin
The perfect storm
Stickup in aisle 3
Please don't feed the tourists
Land of the Frozen Earwax
The birth of wail
Honk if you're married and can't cope with anger
Rabbit ears get poor reception
Percentage of frogs in food jumps
Night of the living roach
Mr. Language Person: Some words of wisdomality
Mind your P's and Q's and teas
Loose lips sink sequels
NOW WE'RE COOKIN'!
The right to Bear clubs
Science: It's just not fair
Road warrior specials
Where's the beef? (Low fat)
There is nothing like a male (guys)
MOTIVATE! THEN FAIL! NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Rooting for the midgets of the Midway
Revolt of the rodents
He can drive any truck named ‘Tonka’
All bets are off
How do you spell S-A-T?
Sour grapes and mud
Pro golf: A game of non-stop boredom
Guard-dog vigilance is nothing to sniff at
Warm and fuzzy Cold War memories
The funny side of ‘Beowulf’
HOLY HEAT WAVE, BATMAN!
Abs-olute madness
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness



© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles