August 2, 1968. Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California.
Buy me some peanuts and crackerjack. I don’t care if I never get back.
Summer 1976. Lawrence Stadium, Wichita, Kansas.
The Triple-A minor league Wichita Aeros host the Indianapolis Indians. Pat Darcy relieves for Indy. He gave up the now-famous Game 6 home run to Carlton Fisk in the World Series the previous fall.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I’m at the game with my brother. We’re merciless:
“Hey Darcy! Aren’t you spozed to be in the World Series?!” “Whaddaya doin’ in Wichita?”
Darcy hung on in the minors for four more years, throwing junk. Never made it back to the bigs.
April 16, 2011, Kauffmann Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri.
Matt Treanor’s only hitting .163, but sports an on-base percentage of .324. My 26-year old sabermetrician son takes me to the ballpark as a Christmas gift. The gift includes looking at the game in a whole different light. If the idea is to score more runs than the other team (and I think it is), the OBP is a much better gauge of a player’s worth to his team than a batting average.
Buy me some Gates Barbecue and Dippin’ Dots. I still don’t care if I never get back.
In the gloaming in the spring, I often think about baseball.
I close my 53-year old eyes and see Roger Long hauling ass after my ball.
A father buying peanuts for his son.
Two brothers hastening a junkballer’s demise.
A son’s gift to his father.