— It’s a “crack-of-the-bat” kinda Friday —

Dear Mike:

It’s a “crack-of-the-bat” kinda Friday…as a young boy baseball was my one and only passion…that is until puberty hit — but that’s another Friday :)…I am not a fan of the World Series; like most things in professional sports “they” have screwed it up until it is meaningless…but watching last night’s game put me in mind of one of my favorite memories…

About 10 years ago or more, the unnamed spouse, her Twisted Sister, young Jakester and myself took a trip to Washington DC…this was in the pre-Obama era so all my radical right wing friends can just stop right there!!…as a treat, I hired one man & a van to take us to Camden Yards in Baltimore to watch a real big league game in the birthplace of Babe Ruth…when I make the commitment to spend mega bucks and time at a sporting event I try to get the best seats possible…not so when Jakester attends…if it is a football game we have to set behind the goal posts, at a hockey game it is seats on the glass in the corner and at a baseball game it has to be outfield seating where we can catch a homerun ball…

So, Gramps got 4 tickets in the left field seats; if you know me at all, you know that any of my grandkids’ desires trumps almost anything else in life…you see, here’s the thing, as a young boy Jakester (AJ) was the kind of kid who believed that despite there being 40,000 other people in attendance it was not only possible that we could get a homerun ball, it was probable!…he had a purity of heart, a simple faith and did not allow the negativity of doubt to dampen his hopes or lessen his belief…he took his glove; I did not…he knew he would get a ball; I didn’t give it a second thought…

It’s the same principle that Jesus taught in Matthew 18:3 when he said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”…needless to say, the unnamed spouse (even back then Marsha didn’t allow me to use her name) and her Twisted Sister had so little interest or faith that they left Camden Yard in the 1st inning (the price of their tickets was money well spent) to go to the harbor front and eat crab cakes along with a refreshing beverage…the bottom of the first it happened!….Melvin Mora was up to bat; one swing and you could hear that bat crack!…the ball started toward left field and it was going to be deep!!…as it got closer and closer I thought it may land in our vicinity…and then, without thought, my left hand shot up into the air and smack!! — a major league baseball struck my palm!!…and by the miracle of a little boy’s faith it stayed there!!…

Jakester was not tall enough to reach above the ungracious adults who were vying for the ball, but his heart was big enough to give Gramps the boost needed to snag that airborne trophy…today that ball is in a plastic case in Mantown (an 8×10 shed that we have for our guy things — mostly sports memorabilia); every time I look at it I am reminded of the heart of a child that is pure enough to just believe…my heart was not that pure but my love was strong enough to yield to the faith of that child…you know what, I didn’t ever believe it would happen and he never — not for a second — doubted it!…and it happened!!..

Anyway, last night’s game reminded me of that experience and I thought I would share it with you all…the next time you have the chance to believe in a child, follow the admonition of the Man from Galilee and do it!!…the ducks on the pond are childlike in their natural inclinations…and Mother Parker knows how to brew hot chocolate for just such occasions.

PS – Jakester is now a man attending Michigan State University. We are having our weekly lunch today; I wish you could join us. He works with the MSU football program and he still believes — I hope he always does; at least until he gets a grandson who will take him to the ballgame someday!

The Kelster

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