Saturday, May 02, 2015

Walt Whitman on our National Pastime

Legend has it that venerable Walt was taken with baseball. Long before I played for a team with WHITMAN sewn proudly on my chest, Walt is quoted with these words:

"It will take our people out of doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism, tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set, repair those losses and be a blessing to us."

Go, Walt, Go!

National MLB writer, Barry Bloom and I went to the ball game last night in San Diego.

He has always liked my work with Casey at the Bat. You can offer your own review by searching Steve Tarde Casey at the Bat on You Tube.

If you have missed the. baseball musings of Sir Bloom, you have missed the very best baseball has to offer in the past 35 years.

We discussed our very first game. He is 63. I am 65. His first game was during the 1960 Yankee season at the Stadium and as I have written often, mine was July 20, 1958 when Bunning in Boston put that date on the national baseball timeline.

Bloom went to Clinton in the Bronx. I was born in the Bronx.

But I took to the diamond for Walt Whitman High, now known more for Hall of Famers, boxing legend Gerry Cooney, NBA star Tom Gugliotta, whose dad was also a Whitman coaching legend and most recently, one AJ Preller, who now is the wunderkind for my new hometown  San Diego Padres National League Baseball Club.

Bloom asked me how many games I have seen since that first game in 1958. I figured about 350.

He figured he had seen about 5,000.

This wasn't going well.

How much do you love baseball. As much as Barry and I?

Emma Span, in her 2010 classic funny baseball book, 90% of the Game is Mental, told a story about a friend who called her from the ER suffering from a collapsed lung. The friend knew Emma's love of baseball and she was among the friends he texted to inform her that he was facing a health crisis.

Emma was preparing to drop everything  and join her friend at the hospital, when she received another urgent text.

Her heart raced. Was she going to be too late after all?

She looked at the text.

She relaxed. It was from her friend. There was no mention of the collapsed lung.

Instead, she read this:


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