Sparky Anderson was born this way

At birth, Sparky Anderson was 5-foot-9, 170 pounds. Those dimensions would not change. The delivery was almost too much even for his prairie-stock mother, who frowned while sleeping. “I counted the seconds,” she told him years later. “Thought about each number going by, and that each second brought me closer to the end of this pain.” He was also born with a full shock of hair, as white as fresh baseballs. His face was already engraved with furrows. Years later, his wife would recognize the pattern they made as the byways and rural routes of McCook County, South Dakota. His … Continue reading Sparky Anderson was born this way

Bob Hamelin Accounts for the Joy within

When St. Peter came to Irvine High School, he bid the people to “give an account of the hope that is in you.” It fell to Bob Hamelin to introduce to the world “apologia via placard” … “Bob Hamelin,” St. Peter said. “Why do you present to me a placard that reads ‘Bob Hamelin’”? “Because,” Bob Hamelin said, “You told me to account for the hope that is in me. Bob Hamelin is in me. Thus, ergo, and therefore: Bob Hamelin is the hope in me. Q.E.D.” Bob Hamelin wandered off, and the slapping and fapping of his weathered leather … Continue reading Bob Hamelin Accounts for the Joy within

The sad baseball frog

The god he does not believe in has never been more absent. It is not like the time when he thought he saw his father, who had been dead for 20 years, standing in his kitchen in the middle of the night. But something — an unnameable something — has grown restless and turned back. It is nothing he could impart, nothing that even has a name. But the continental-drift of a gnaw is enough to tear notches into the strong hearts of oaks rooted forever to the floor of the world. His library is but a burnt offering to … Continue reading The sad baseball frog