Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tiny boys and baseball, old men and baseball

If my Granddaddy Teddy were still alive, he'd be turning 100 tomorrow. He died 6 days after he turned 61, 4 days after I turned 11. Fifty years older than me, almost to the day.

I wish he would have lived longer. I could have taken him to ballgames. But maybe I wouldn't have. I'd like to think I would have. I would today.

He'd take his vacation from the paper mill in West Monroe and watch the World Series on television. He'd have enjoyed today and yesterday: three games in one day, of playoffs. He was a sweet man. When he got sick, a lot of guys at the paper mill split time and worked his shifts. I wish you could have met him.

Sunday's column is called "Watch the Ball into Your Glove." It really doesn't have much to do with baseball; it just uses baseball, hopefully to make a point. But this following note does have to do with baseball. Scooter works at the paper and has already read Sunday's story. He wrote me this note today after he did. He and Melissa, a couple of years ago, had Hadley.

"Melissa flew out of town recently on a Sunday afternoon for a business trip. After Hadley and I dropped her off at the airport, we went home and watched Sunday Night Football. He decided early in the first quarter that he wanted to "watch Copper" (The Fox and the Hound) instead. So we watched that until he said "I wanna watch football." When we got to Monday night, same drill - football, Tod and Copper, then more football. Tuesday night he started with Fox and the Hound and was disappointed when there wasn't any football on. Then I hit pay dirt - the "Battle at Bricktown" featuring the Memphis Redbirds and the Durham Bulls. Now all I hear is "I wanna watch baseball."

"The other day he found one of my 12-inch souvenir bats. He walks around the house now swinging at anything he can find, or anything you toss his way. He's stepping into the swing with his back foot, and he's a sucker for the high fastball. But he's playing baseball.

"Life is good...

"I hope you have a great weekend.