Brian Kingman, your author.
I recently e-mailed ex-Athletics pitcher Brian Kingman– informing him that the first player on the 1981 team that he had played for had passed. Kelvin Moore, who had played parts of 3 seasons in the majors had died on November 9th, 2014 from cardiac arrest. He was 57.
Brian, being insightful and clever as always sent me back this interesting e-mail that ponders life after death and the infinite intricacies that perhaps may await us. I hope C.C.A. readers enjoy this special, one of a kind look into a former ballplayers deepest, most personal thoughts:
I am so very sorry to hear about Kelvin.
He was a great teammate – easy-going nice guy and powerful hitter.
What do you think happens when you die?
The short answer of course is that no one knows. For all we know dying might be an awesome experience. Unfortunately no one has managed to report back from the dead to let us know. It remains a mystery. In fact you could say our entire existence is full of uncertainty. Man still debates the origins of our beginnings, questions the meaning of life, and has no knowledge of what happens after death.
The Souls Search For Salvation aka Coping Mechanism
The fact that life is full of mysteries and unexplainable events, such as death, has been a source of angst since the beginning of time. What is a coping mechanism? It is a term used by psychologists
R.I.P. Mr. Moore
to describe an adaptation to environmental stress that is based on conscious or unconscious choice, and that enhances control over behavior or gives psychological comfort. It has also been used by 20 game losers to make themselves believe that other people actually understand how they lost 20 games (trying to remember this is a baseball blog!)
The emergence of religion (some might say the invention of religion) gave Man an explanation for suffering, evil and the unknown in the world. It also gave man the hope for life after death. The essence of all religions are basically the same: A life does not begin at birth or end at death. Some religions believe in a Heaven or Hell, while others believe in reincarnation. Religion grew to become a huge part of an individuals life from birth to death, and helped to diminish the despair of meaninglessness.
With the advent of science many religious beliefs became mythology, and belief in God, which was the basis for meaning and value went into decline his led to Nietzche’s famous quote: “God is dead”. Cause of death? Indifference caused by a cultural shift away from faith, and towards science and rationalism. Beginning around the time of the Renaissance there was a major change in Man’s psychological evolution. By losing religion, modern man lost his connection with the afterlife.
“Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal.”
~Jean Paul Sartre
But is it an illusion?
Those who have had a near death experience have reported various things from feelings of warmth, serenity and detachment from the body, to the presence of a light at the end of a tunnel. Sounds very similar to what a baby goes through at birth. It leaves the only home it has known, and travels through a narrow tunnel towards a light. Perhaps after all, death is just a part of the cycle of life. I find life more satisfying living with the belief that we are eternal beings. It is so much more satisfying than what Shakespeare described in the early 1600’s when
he wrote these famous lines for his play Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5):
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Now that you have read the long answer, you learn it really is the same as the short answer. No one knows what happens when you die.
You have to die to find out!
Two buddies Bob and Earl were two of the biggest baseball fans in America. Their entire adult lives, Bob and Earl discussed baseball history in the winter, and they pored over every box score during the season.They went to 60 games a year. They even agreed that whoever died first would try to come back and tell the other if there was baseball in heaven.
One summer night, Bob passed away in his sleep after watching the Yankee victory earlier in the evening. He died happy. A few nights later, his buddy Earl awoke to the sound of Bob’s voice from beyond. “Bob is that you?” Earl asked. “Of course it me,” Bob replied.
“This is unbelievable!” Earl exclaimed. “So tell me, is there baseball in heaven?”
“Well I have some good news and some bad news for you. Which do you want to hear first?” Earl excitedly replies, “Tell me the good news first.”
“Well, the good news is that yes there is baseball in heaven, Earl.”
“Oh, that is wonderful! So what could possibly be the bad news?”
“You’re pitching tomorrow night.”