Our nations pastime…baseball; I remember getting my first glove and going to get it with my grandfather and great uncle. I practiced and beat the hell out of that thing until it was workable and fit custom, to only me. I have fitted hats that are also formed only to my head, and I wear with pride, in all the soiled comfort of the years being broken in. I still have the boxes of cards and filled out brochures/scorecards from games at the old Three Rivers Stadium during the Pirates great run in 1979, that I saved over the years. And as I was raised, so is my 2-year old daughter, with her own Pirates fitted lid and souvenirs from the ballparks I have visited. She will attend her first game this summer with all the memorabilia to go with it; I can’t wait!
I was at Kohl’s Department Store, in the South Hills of Pittsburgh last week, and Kent ‘Teke’ Tekulve was shopping there. I was killing time with my daughter while my wife shopped for a bathing suite and the daughter was running all around the men’s section. I looked up and was star-struck, remembering his great career and memorable lockdown game 7 save in the World Series; I was 7, that was 34 years ago, and I remember it still. I wanted to ask him for a picture with my daughter & I, but I chickened out. I’ve beat myself up all week since! A Kodak moment with Teke & my daughter, 2 generations of fans would have been great. That is the essence of being a baseball fan, spanning generations and time to enjoy the sport.
As I comment on the importance of baseball in American culture, I would be remise if I didn’t mention, on this weekend, my thanks to all of our soldiers, current and past for your service and I can only hope each of you are able to get to a ball game with your family and friends to enjoy this great pastime. Be safe y’all, and again, thank you for all you do! And to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country, a special appreciation for your heroism…your memory will live on in nobility.
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