Thursday, August 08, 2013

The Casey Chronicles

It was June 3, 1968 and if I was going to go through with my crazy plan, I would have to do it today. Today would be my 80th birthday and in the movie in my mind it was this day that I needed to inject myself into another human form. I am not sure since I was legally dead, but I was a useless form. For weeks I barely came out of my apartment. I had scoured old newspapers to find a hamlet which would come close to my idyllic Mudville, the township Ernest Lawrence Thayer had create with his pen when he gave life to me on the pages of the San Francisco Examiner 80 years ago today. Earlier this spring, as I began to die, I had come upon Melville, Long Island, New York, a similarly Rip Van Winkle little hamlet and the home to the Walt Whitman Wildcat Nine Baseball Club. With one road stroke, I had found my town and a group of 18 year old young boys who would provide me with my new body. The only questions were who, where and when. I could feel in my bones the when would be June 3. I looked at the maroon and white Whitman schedule which was taped to my bedroom wall. NORTHPORT HOME JUNE 3 4PM It was all falling into place. There was still one piece of major business to check off. I needed a body. I saw them practicing at the high school and I started to take mental notes. He wasn’t the best player on his team. In fact, he was kind of clumsy, bow legged and with tiny wrists and ankles which looked like they would crack in the next gust of wind. But he intrigued me---this callow youth with the glasses patrolled center field. He had a swagger about him which was unusual for his age, He fired up his teammates and they fed off his energy. It was time for a home visit. By May---I was growing weaker by the day. I could barely sustain the walk to his middle class home on the edge of town. He lived with his mother and father and older sister. His father looked familiar and I remembered that I had once seen him on the field playing for Stengel. Nobody was home. I let myself into the home. Thank you very much. I didn’t consider myself an intruder. After all, I was a fictional character. I was about to change all that. His tiny bedroom was on the second floor across from his parents. I opened the door and my first thought was that I was in a strip joint. Glossy pictures of Playboy centerfolds adorned the walls like trophies. This guy was a sex addict. Did I want to trust my new life to someone who idolized hot babes on his bedroom wall? You better believe it! Just then I heard voices and I looked out the window to the street below. It was the centerfielder from the school and his dad. The boy was standing there looking pretty sad as his father shouted at him. Why was he letting him scream at him like that? A group of boys with bats and balls stopped by and spoke briefly to the boy. It appeared to me that they were asking him if he could play ball with th em. The by shook his head and returned to the garage and the lawn mower. After his friends left, I watched the boy. He was crying. It just about broke my heart.

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