Put Me in Coach
Baseball, the greatest game known to man. When I was young and was a lazy reader, I'd read the Mark Harris stories. I truly believe that my almost obsessive calculations of batting averages, as a child, earned me 100 points on my SAT.
The game has the strategy of chess, a good pitcher, catcher and manager are thinking many pitches ahead. There are even stories of Willie Mays calling the pitches from Centerfield. Tom Seaver once said that he was the only outfielder who wanted to know what pitch Seaver was throwing. He was smart enough to position himself based upon the pitch and the angle of the bat.
I loved to play. I wasn't bad. As a kid, before I hurt my back, trying to be Brooks Robinson, I could hit a ball a mile. and to any field. That ended when someone threw me a curve ball. I soon went from Mickey Mantle to Mickey Mouse. I could catch anything at third base. Brooks Robinson was my hero. But unlike the Great Vacuum Cleaner, I would then proceed to throe the ball 20 feet over the first baseman's head. So eventually I settled at First Base.
I'm sure that I could still swing a bat, catch and maybe even throw. I haven't done any of this in years, and boy do I miss it. It's in my blood, I see a stick and I swing it. I sometimes stand in my office and swing my barely used cane.
About seven years ago, I went with a friend of mine and his son to the batting cages. I went into the medium speed cage, and missed the first couple of pitches. Then the voice of my Uncle Jerry came to me. "Marc, keep your elbow up!" I moved my left foot in, raised my elbows and proceed to hit line drives.
On to the fast pitch cage. Four pitches went by me. "Cut down on your swing." a couple of line drives.
For the day, I didn't have Parkinson's. My feet did what I told them, My hands were able to grip the bat. My ever present companion was obviously intimidated by a baseball. He is a wimp.
The moral is, that I am still here, and someday, I'll sneak out and go back to that cage. I guarantee that my dreams of being Brooks Robinson, Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle will return if only for a few minutes.