Is hitting zero home runs in the big leagues like being a writer who was never published? Or is it about the experience? The tactile thrill of putting pen to paper and seeing jumbled thoughts form on the page in a cohesive unit without fan-fair, without a record of speech.
Done with love unrequited.
There is a collective, who? from the crowd and a lot of head-scratching. The pitcher sneers, why are you here? this refugee from the bush leagues. The player goes through automated motions before digging in, slicing dirt and skipping pebbles; stepping into the box without adulation. No one scurries from the beer line to watch your at-bat. Persona Non-Grata. No one writes about and examines your life and travels, quoting you endlessly. You are no Joe DiMaggio or Ernest Hemingway or any other black and white face on a postcard. 11 career base-hits. I’ve had more lovers than that. Every one categorized and resonated in my mind’s eye with a dying quail, a check-swing squib, a flare here and there, or a hotshot that juuuuust went foul. Our struggles happen concurrently with everyone else’s — and sometimes done with love unrequited.
Properly poetic post for Pitts…
I wonder whether Gaylen got a World Series ring and maybe half a World Series share for being with Oakland in ’74.
Poor Gaylen. Going 0 for forever in the attaboy column, and with a name like Pitts, must of been more than inconvenient? Yet perhaps, the league actually needs guys like him? Without baseball’s proverbial losers, our heroes wouldn’t soar so high in contrast. And the all-too-many average player, would then become the bottom of the barrel. There’s a baseball-life comparison in there somewhere — I’m just too damn lazy to try and figure it out.
Perhaps a zen aproach? Whatever the case may be, it makes a whole lotta sense.
Wonderful piece of writing Gary, really wonderful and such a poignant reminder of something I read from somewhere, something to the effect of ‘though what we’re doing may seem meaningless, do it anyway.’
Maybe it’s the only thing that keeps us sane. Thanks for dropping by Steve.
I dunno… Gaylen Pitts managed to hit .250 in the majors courtesy of his 11 hits. This tops the output of the great Billy Beane, who hit .219 over 6 years.
And of course what really counts is: “What did you do on the field for the A’s?”
Gaylen Pitts is a mere 8 hits behind Billy Beane’s output in that category. (to some amusement, each played for championship A’s teams)
I still marvel over having seen live, Billy Beane scoring 2 of his 8 total runs during his banner season playing with the A’s. (a multi-run game for Billy for one of 3 times during his career)
I saved the ticket stubs for that monumentous occasion.
On the other hand, Billy Beane once went 5-for-5 in a game, when with the Twins on April 29, 1986, that the occasion of his 1st of 3 career home runs.
They should’ve called it “The Billy Beane game” a la “Ryne Sandberg”
(but then again, Billy’s team lost that day).
I say that Billy Beane might have to live forever to become the most famous “Billy” who was ever with the A’s. (Brad Pitt, Moneyball, or not)
We’ll see how history sees it, but right now he might be a smidgen ahead of Billy Martin in the famous/infamous category if only because of the book, movie aand popularity of sabermetrics,
Thanks for the very intersting comment.
Billy Beane never had anybody “mooning” for (him)…
(ON the record)