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talkin' baseball

I have a couple of stories to tell you, but we've got to be at the baseball field in half an hour, so they'll have to wait. I just wanted to scroll that last post down a bit. I'm getting some weird emails. It's time for a repeat and what better time than the home stretch into the baseball playoffs then to repeat my favorite baseball story? Hopefully there's a few new readers out there who haven't seen this one yet, as it's one of those rare things I've written that I can read over again. a baseball story. [From March, 2003: A Baseball Story] Itís March and thoughts turn to baseball. When not thinking about war, that is, and who wants to think about war all day long? So, I have a baseball story for you. It was the summer of Ď86. I had gone back to college the previous spring after an extended hiatus. 21 credits crammed into one semester after not being in school for a while was exhausting, so I passed on taking any summer classes. I was working nights at the time and thought I would spend my summer days sleeping until noon and lounging around the house. And then my Dean made me an offer I couldnít refuse - a summer job that would entail driving to The Bronx every morning, not getting home until midnight most nights, working a few weekends, all for no pay except a few college credits. I almost laughed at him until he explained who I would be working for. The New York Yankees. Not as a hot dog vendor or ticket-taker. I would be working inside the vaunted walls of Yankee Stadium. Hell, I would have paid them> to let me have that job. I was to spend my days as an editorial assistant for Yankee Magazine, cropping pictures, proofreading stories and doing advertising layout for the magazine. At night, if the Yankees were on a homestand, I would stay for the games and run errands. If I wasnít needed I was welcome to stay for the games, anyhow. I spent a lot of time that humid summer in the cool confines of the archives room, poring through photos of Yogi Berra and Joe Dimaggio, reading scorecards from games played long ago and generally living in a baseball time warp. The room was stuffed to the gills with trophies and plaques and mementos of the greatest baseball team that ever existed. And here was all this history, all this fame right at my fingertips. Ticket stubs, game programs, yellowed articles and dusty photographs were my companions that summer. Each time I left the room - usually after a futile search for whatever memorabilia or picture I was sent there for as the room was incredibly unorganized - my fingers would be coated with dust and grime of the legacy of legends. I watched plenty of games from the press box. Sometimes I helped keep the scorecard, sometimes I just chatted with reporters or players who were on the injured list and joined the press to watch the game. I knew I had it made. I ate lunch in the third base seats, legs stretched out, sun beating down and Yankee Stadium seemingly to myself. I parked in the playerís lot, sometimes walking in with the players themselves. I was the original George Costanza. Late that August the pennant race was heating up and the summer nights were cooling down. I knew my days as a part of the New York Yankees staff were drawing to a close. In a way, I was relieved that I wouldnít have to make that miserable morning drive on the Grand Central anymore. But I hated give up the perks of a job where I mingled with Don Mattingly and had my name in Yankee Magazine. It was close to my last night there when I was invited to watch a game from the General Managerís office. There I was, in this huge office full of baseball impresarios, sharing drinks and glad-handing each other. I stood quivering in the corner, too overwhelmed by the presence of baseball greats to move out of the spot. One of the employees I had become friends with over the summer grabbed me and dragged me over to the huge picture window that overlooked the playing field of Yankee Stadium. I was watching the game from an office behind home plate, surveying the game as if I owned the team. I looked at the outfield bleachers where I had sat so many times before. I was mesmerized. My friend excused himself to go get a drink and I stayed at the window, watching the game. Then a voice from beside me, ďGreat view, isnít it?Ē I looked up to see Mickey Mantle standing beside me, grinning. I nodded, unable to speak. Me and Mickey, watching a Yankee game from the office above home plate. That, my friends, is a King of the World moment. ----------

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» October 3, 2004 - My Orosco Number Stands at 3 from Aaron's Rantblog, aka Aaron the Liberal Slayer
A baseball fan's "Orosco number" is the count of active players still older than that fan, allowing him to cling to the fantasy of getting a phone call to "join the club". The hovering sword of Orosco's number hangs far more potentially trauma... [Read More]

» Baseball Playoff Predicitons - 2004 from Aaron's Rantblog, aka Aaron the Liberal Slayer
Blogging baseball fans... post your predictions. I'm hoping for a Freeway Series. No team has been more fun to watch than the Dodgers who have 52 come-from-behind victories. This team has NO starting pitching, unlike traditional Dodger teams that... [Read More]

Comments

I would really envy you for the experience 'cept I am a Mets fan. I have my own great memories of '86.

They say greatness rubs off.

It does.

Great experience, great story.

Once again, I wish I had your ability with words.

Great story.

Terrible year for baseball tho.

Mets/RedSox World Series. Doesn't get any worse than that. And that Met's team was almost as obnoxious as their fans.

This Yankee fan actually rooted for the Red Sox (spit, spit).

Wow