ChildhoodBaseballPassion

On Sunday, October 14, 1984, my 7-year-old self sat Indian style on the floor in the living room of our modest, happy, fun, family home with my pillow and blanket just feet from the television. I wasn’t riveted to the TV for the newest cartoon though. Care Bears, My Little Pony and Barbie would never even be in competition to hold my attention. ¬†I didn’t realize it at the time but this would mark the beginning of my passion for the game of baseball.

It was early afternoon and the Detroit Tigers were in game 5 of the Major League Baseball World Series versus the San Diego Padres. I don’t remember everything about the game but I do recall much of the major plays from the Tiger’s first World Series victory since the unforgettable 1968 team. I vividly remember those last moments, specifically the last couple of innings.

I mean who can possibly forget Kirk Gibson up to bat against Goose Gossage in the bottom of the 8th inning with 1 out, the Tigers leading 5 to 4? Tiger’s manager, Sparky Anderson, mouthing from the dugout, “he don’t want to walk you.” Gibby was already 2 for 3 with a homer, a walk and a single in the dramatic game so Goose convincingly argued with manager, Dick Williams, to not¬†intentionally walk him. ¬†Gossage believed he had Gibson figured out this time, he could beat him like he had since his rookie year with the Tigers. Gibson’s very first fastball in the major leagues came to him courtesy of Goose and Gibby would be retired many times from the batter’s box by him after that initial face off. This time though, the first pitch was a ball and the 2nd pitch would end up in the right field seats in the upper deck.

Now I didn’t know the history between these two phenomenal baseball players when I was a young girl watching this game so intently but this moment sparked a passion within me. Since this moment, I would read, study, play Little League and high school softball, attend Tiger games, play neighborhood home run derby, watch any MLB games on TV, analyze this game with the best of them, participate in fantasy baseball leagues, sketch and paint baseball art-all amazing memories for which I am eternally grateful.

That being shared, what I hold most dear is the connection baseball has given to me with those I love. Even if a family or friendship was difficult, we could always relate to baseball together. And on the other side of that it somehow strengthen the relationships I have presently with family and friends. This passion unites people and tends to bond you in ways I cannot describe.

Yes, I love my Detroit Tigers. However my love affair with baseball began in my early childhood sparked and cultivated by family. Forever grateful.

Warning: Kindness May Lead To Shock

Showing others kindness seems to be a rarity these days. You’ve heard the phrase “kill them with kindness” I’m sure but did you also know kindness and manners tends to shock people these days?

Today FedEx delivered my replacement Galaxy Note 5 phone. Admittedly, I have felt a bit lost without this device for the last few days! I use my cell for both personal & business so it’s been interesting. Late last year I purposely chose this phone for it’s S Pen to scratch notes down quickly. It has come in handy as a writer and most recently I use it as an illustrator.

“Thank you sir, I appreciate you bringing the package to me personally,” I said (I was working in the garage). He had parked his vehicle across the street and until he noticed me working, he was headed for the front door.

He looked at me somewhat surprised and said: “You, young lady, are the first one to thank me today and smile, you’re very welcome.”

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I realize he was doing his job but it was 3pm and by this point it was near the end of his shift. I’m certain some of the packages he simply left on front porches, but the fact that it dawned on him that others he had come into contact with hadn’t uttered the words “thank you”? How sad is that?

It’s the little things that make a difference, like saying thank you and smiling- it can brighten someone’s day! Tell those in your life that you appreciate them. Be kind today, even it’s just a smile to a stranger.