It is the perfect season for baseball stories.* The playoff games have been full of great highlights and bizarre calls. Even if the team I’m cheering for has been on the losing end more than I desire, they have still been quite entertaining. And, most importantly, my sister told me my new favorite baseball story.
“Henry and I were reading and he chose the baseball book you and Jamie made him. Near the end there is a picture collage of your family in various Royals gear at games and in total seriousness he turns to me and says, ‘We like the Royals. Me and Uncle E. We do.’”
High five, Henry. We do like the Royals.
In the Atkins Charter House at King’s Way United Methodist Church, just a few throws north of where I played catch during the church’s sports camp (Day #199), I was invited to share some of my baseball stories. I did my work and wrote my words and told my stories. Of course, there was a Yankees fan present — Yankees fans are everywhere — and I quickly tipped my hat toward Bill and Shirley Virdon (Day #61) and mentioned that he is my favorite Yankees player and manager.
After I told my stories I was introduced to Cy.
Tom Hanks was wrong.
There is crying in baseball.
In 2012, the San Francisco Giants won games 5, 6, and 7 of the National League Championship Series and were responsible for eliminating the St. Louis Cardinals from the postseason, much like they were responsible two years later for ending the Royals season with my favorite player standing on third base as the tying run. In 2012, at the age of 4, Cy was quite upset that the Cardinals were not victorious. A video of Cy’s tears was posted on YouTube and it went viral.
“At one point, the original video had at least a million hits,” his dad said.
In order to try and cheer Cy up, the Wienermobile paid him a visit and Kleenex sent him and his family to Cardinals Opening Day in 2013.
I had no idea I would be meeting another baseball celebrity today.
After telling stories, I played catch with Cy who was all smiles. He plays second base and outfield, so I threw a couple grounders and pop-ups. We were joined by several new catch-playing friends. Kris, a worship leader at the church, talked guitars and music with me. Emily, a softball veteran, documented the game of catch on her camera before grabbing a glove. Karen caught the ball a couple of times and tossed it back. (Karen is Spencer Johnson’s grandmother. I watched Spencer during his MSU ball playing days.) And Bill tossed a couple of pop-ups for Cy to catch.
Even though both of our teams are done playing ball this year, there is still important fun to be had playing catch.
The only sad part of the day was an out-of-focus selfie.
Only 5 days until the World Series watch party at CY Sports for Pitch In For Baseball!
*It’s always the perfect time of year for baseball stories.