A Broken Heart [Rain Delay Between the 1st and 2nd Innings]
Before Detroit comes to bat for the second inning, the skies over Comiskey Park cloud up and the heavens empty. The Umpire calls for a rain delay. My Dad and I retreat to where it’s dry under the Grandstands, and it’s time for baseball stories. Mine start with a heartbreak.
I was a pretty good ballplayer all through junior high with dreams of someday being a major leaguer. Fall of my freshman year in high school I ran Cross-Country because my Mom didn’t want me playing football and getting hurt. I once ran the 1.9 mile course is nine minutes and thirty-six seconds, a pretty good time. Basketball was not my best sport so I waited out the winter looking forward to the spring baseball season. My high school had over 4,000 students so making the team was not a cinch, but I had no doubts.
After three days of try-outs, the list of eighteen names was to be posted right before classes let out. I raced to the gym bulletin board …. but … but my name was not on the list! I’m crying as I read each name a second time – still no me. Feeling all alone in the crowded hallway, the track coach touches me on the arm: “You’re coming out for track now, aren’t you?” So that was it! The track coach had told the baseball coach that I was a track man, not a baseball player!
When I didn’t go out for track, the baseball coach asked me to be on the team, but it was never the same. I wasn’t a starter and it was years before I enjoyed the game again. Mostly I just didn’t want to have anything to do with grown-ups, and instead started smoking, drinking and chasing girls. Went to college in Minnesota and law school out east. Didn’t go to another White Sox game for ten years; hardly paid any attention to them in the standings.
Back at Comiskey Park, the game’s been called on account of rain.
Tomorrow: Mending a Broken Heart