It’s cold, snowing and brisk here in Springfield, Massachusetts. It’s also a place where much of my days are spent sorting through a collection of pictures, news clippings, and rearranging old baseballs and bats in my den, with autograph names and “best wishes” from coaches and players that I’ve had the privilege to know and meet.
As I look at my found memories and better days, I can’t help but think how people make this journey possible, and how quickly those people passed by - what seemed to be a never ending experience has now become just that - only an experience. It’s funny how vivid these memories are, and how I can remember each and every name and face.
All in all, back then the emotions of the moment seemed to be the most important thing. How the simplest thing seemed to spur quick judgement and assumptions that lasted for years, - a mind set that took years to overcome.
This sport of ours is all about the human experience and all its frailty. A smart man, who realizes this early in his profession, becomes a man of exception. Why? Because we all share certain traits that add to or subtract from who we are, regardless of what dugout we’re in.
At this time in the year, we can consider this the off season. For me, that’s a permanent thing. But for most of you, you’re still living the experience. So, remember these days that you have the ability, the desire, the willingness to endure. Enjoy the good times and the not so good times. But most of all remember the people. Remember you’re teammates, the opposition, coaches, umpires, vendors, the crowds all along the way.
Go to a ballpark, just sit by yourself and listen. Feel the kinship that his place has in your heart. The way and what-for that can be asked and answered all at the same time. Quietly listen to the story of the many generations that have gone before you - a story that only you, at that moment, are privilege to hear. Take a walk around the skins, and why not, this is where you belong. And just think… if those skins could only talk.