The thing is, I’m a storyteller. There is no sense fighting it, or acting like I’m something else. I love the rich tradition of storytellers over our history as a species, and I enjoy being a part of that tradition. So I’m switching this blog more towards storytelling and the lessons to be learned from those stories.
I hope you don’t mind too much.
I played baseball in high school and college. Loved the sport. Still do. My dad started me on that path, playing catch with me when I was very young, hitting balls to me, great father and son moments that will forever be in my memory.
About the time I turned eleven I declared I was going to be the greatest pitcher in history. I would be drafted out of college, go on to be Rookie of the Year in the Major Leagues, then MVP, Cy Young, and on to the Hall of Fame. Simple as that!
I worked hard that first year, throwing fastballs at a cement wall, working on my control, and I was seriously pumped to get my career started in that first game.
I got lit up! The harder I tried to throw, the harder those batters would hit the ball. My God, it was like a track meet around the bases. Mercifully, after three innings, the coach came out and took me out of the game. Thank God!
As you might suspect I was heartbroken. My dreams of a baseball career were shattered at the age of eleven. I figured maybe some other sport would be better, something not quite as hard as baseball . . . and then my dad sat me down.
“No doubt about it, buddy,” he said. “You stunk up the field today. Now I suppose you’re going to quit, right?”
This wasn’t like my dad. No way he’s that calm about his son wanting to quit something. I was confused.
“What am I supposed to do, dad? You saw me out there. Everything I threw they hit. If I can’t throw hard enough to get it by them, how am I supposed to win a game?”
He ruffled my hair.
“Bill, you need to pitch smarter, not harder.”
He then went out and taught me how to throw a knuckleball and a curve.
And I made it all the way to my junior year in college before my shoulder finally said enough and I was medically incapable of pitching again.
I miss my dad! He died just about the same time my shoulder died. There is great synchronicity in that fact. And sweet melancholy, of course. J
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”