Thursday, July 17, 2014

Derek Jeter: Twenty Years in the Same Outfit

In the late 1970's, when a good deal of my days were spent at the ball park with my dad or sitting on the back patio, listening to Denny Mathews' play by play on my grandfather's old transistor radio, when baseball was an integral part of summer and activities were planned around the Royals schedule, I knew that the players on the field on any given day were the same ones that were there the day before. The names: Brett, White, McRae, consistently causing my grandfather to scream in adoration, or frustration, through the crackle of the old radio broadcast. Those names, so familiar, were part of the comfort of baseball, the knowing that every day Bopaw would be there, in the shade on the back porch, listening to baseball while smoking a cigarette and musing on the condition of the garden.

In our paper plate loving society, does the disposable system of player rotation teach us all that we are easily replaced? And that allegiance and loyalty are nothing compared to the highest dollar? How do I raise Cubs fans when my children have no idea who is playing baseball on any given day?

My George Brett jersey was outdated when I outgrew it, not when George outgrew the Royals. And while I know it's easier to stick with a team like the Yankees, it's still nice to see someone in the same uniform for twenty years, in the age of disposable baseball. In one night Derek Jeter rose to the top of my daughters' list of favorite players, because right now they have no idea who is in the Cubs dugout. Neither do I. 

It's a business, says Jack, it's not that way anymore.
But I wish it was, I really do.

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