Sunday, November 10, 2013

Doug Glanville and Me

We were separated at birth.

We were born in the same hospital, grew up in the same town and felt what I can only imagine was the same burning passion for baseball.

The grass must have felt the same under his feet, the dirt must have stained each of our uniforms the same color. The arms and legs carried us both to victories, and the defeats had the same bitter taste. We breathed the same air, walked the same streets.

And now that both of our baseball careers are finished, my last game of note being 50 years ago in the  Little League playoffs and his slightly less than a decade removed after a decidedly more illustrious run, we again find ourselves aligned.

Doug Glanville is a contributing writer to the New York Times and so am I. He has seen his opinion on steroid abuse in baseball in print in this most hallowed of newspapers just like me.

Yet literary fame and fortune have run parallel to our impact with ball and bat. While I search in vain for the glory, he has found it. While my published letters to the editor bring recognition in my mind and a handful of others, Doug Glanville's words have achieved a place of prominence and distinction.

I easily envision myself as having lived much as Glanville. I did not abandon baseball at the age of 12, but remained its passionate lover. I was rewarded with the feel of Yankee Stadium grass under my feet, wandering the same sacred ground as my hero, Mickey Mantle. I tasted the champagne after the last out was recorded.

And when the day was done, and my career had become mere statistic, my writing was heralded. The New York Times did not grant me but 150 words or less, my thoughts were not truncated but allowed to flourish. I was, and continue to be, as successful in this endeavor as my last.

But it turns out that though we did arrive on this earth in the same place, maybe the same room, and though we did grow up in the same town and travel the same paths, we did not have the same spring in our legs or strength in our arms.  And though our desire to put our thoughts before the public for review may have been the same, our writing skills were as wildly different as our ability to steal a base or throw out a runner from deep center field.

Doug Glanville and I have never met, and never will. But he should know that there is a more than middle aged man out there from whom he was separated at birth.


Anonymous said...

What a beautul column. But you don't realized that your word skills are your forte, and the Times has yet to have your best . Keep them coming.

El Ganso said...

It looks like Spring Training starts February 25th.
I think that is about 102 days, or 14 and 1/2 weeks, or about 3 and a 1/2 months from now.
Check out: Check out http://www.springtrainingonline.com/features/master-schedule.htm if you haven't already done so, and keep the faith! Baseball will be back next year!!