Thursday, August 5, 2010

Witnessing History

I had been at the game when he hit 599, and I was at the Stadium this past Monday when the futility in trying to reach 600 continued. A- Rod, in full view. You could almost see him twitching internally, as a succession of mostly forgettable names stymied him in his ongoing pursuit of greatness.

One of sports seminal pleasures is recounting tales of having been at a defining moment. I will bore anyone within earshot with a top ten list of my 'accomplishments' of having been in the right sporting place at the right time. Yesterday, I was not at the Stadium. However, that is not to say that I didn't have tickets to the game. I did, or at least, I kind of did.

Some years ago, I presented a friend with 4 tickets to a Yankee game, in celebration of his son's birthday. It turns out that an annual tradition was born that day.

As I sat in my car and listened to the radio yesterday afternoon, I imagined the arc of A-Rod's 600th. My first thought was not of the steroid issue, or of the weight that was lifted from his shoulders, but of those 4 seats, none of which were being occupied by me. Joanne texted our friend "600 !!!!!" and got a joyous reply moments later. That could have been me, I thought.

The truth is that my best memories are of moments unscripted. My daughter and I watched as Jeter dived into the stands and came out bloodied but triumphant during that unforgettable game against the Red Sox. It was stirring being with my son while seeing a fading Doc Gooden pitch a no hitter against a Seattle team led by a young star by the name of Ken Griffey.

And the one that surpasses them all is recalling my dad beaming, while clutching a foul ball that had just been hit by Yogi Berra in his 2000th game as a Yankee.

So, while I lament my failure to be a witness to history, maybe I should, much like A-Rod, stop trying so hard. Let it all come to me naturally, and allow what is meant to be to happen of its own accord.

That is not to say that I am not trying to figure out exactly when 700 will be hit, and maybe even calculate the moment in time when 763 should go sailing into the history books. I wonder if the Yankees can put tickets on hold for mid-August 2013 and 2015 in the left field bleachers?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Can you believe that he got #600 before you got hole in one #3?