Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Error

A ball was hit to my son yesterday. He committed an error on the play. He gave the ball away.

In over six decades of attending hundreds and hundreds of Yankee games I can count on one hand, with four fingers to spare, the number of balls I have caught. And my grave mistake, my unforgivable moment of weakness, was in handing that one ball to my friend's young daughter who was seated next to her dad at the stadium that day. The pain of that loss remains embedded deep within me.

I have recounted that story to my son throughout the years. Far too often, I am certain. And as he is nearing 40, he should well have absorbed the lesson of that cautionary tale.

So what if he was a guest of his friend at yesterday's game. So what if the friend informed my son as Didi stepped to the plate that the Bomber's shortstop was his favorite player. So what if my passion for baseball is not matched by my child.

With the swing of the bat, the ball headed directly at my first born. As this was a weekday 1 PM start, a makeup game, the first of a day night doubleheader, the seats all around were almost entirely empty. And while the ball was not caught in its downward descent by the sure fingered child of mine, it did come to rest immediately next to him. Surely he would grab this prize, pick up his cell phone and announce to his dear old dad that finally, finally, that lost ball was now found.

Instead, without hesitation, in gratitude for his friend's kind invitation, armed with the knowledge of his friend's deep admiration for the batter, knowing it would bring a huge smile to his friend's face and because keeping this baseball would really not fundamentally change the course of his own life, my son handed glory directly into the outstretched palm of his buddy.

My son committed a miscue on a fly hit to him yesterday. But the undeniable truth is that there was no error on the play at all.


Anonymous said...

I thought that there’s no crying in baseball?

EH (the young girl who was handed that ball so many years ago)

Anonymous said...

Great essay!


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Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story..
Makes my heart sing...gives me hope..
Kindness still exists..

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Anonymous said...

That’s very nice! Good read! (And very relatable).


Anonymous said...

Really sweet one. Love to R. Go Yankees!


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Anonymous said...

My baseball career is mostly composed of errors, so this is keeping in character.


Anonymous said...

a chip off the old block--RE

Anonymous said...

Now, you’re making me feel guilty for keeping the ball that landed next to me when we were sitting in the right field upper deck, on an Easter Sunday I think. You were there, J was there, and I don’t remember the fourth person


Anonymous said...

Great Post. Such a nice thing to do. Still waiting to grab my fist

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Pam said...

like Father... like son!