In My Write Mind
Eleven days into the tenth month of the year, and its looking like any other October I've known for the past decade.
The air is crisp, Columbus Day gives me a chance to relax and recharge, the Breast Cancer Awareness walk is a week away...and the Yankees are in the playoffs.
It seems that every October, every year since the mid-90s, the Yankees have been the team to beat, the team to love or the team to love to hate. All of that has filled the past ten Octobers--the '95 loss to Seattle on the Edgar hit and Griffey slide, the upset of ATL in '96, the loss to the Tribe on the Alomar HR that set everything up for the dominating 125-win '98 team, the rematch and routing of the Braves in '99, the sweet subway stabbing of the Metros in 2000, the unbelievable Fall of post-9/11 2001, the loss to the Halos in '02, getting fried by the Fish in '03. Every year, another chapter of a crisp, autumn book, ten strong. I've been through it all.
With my dad.
Sadly, this year, just before the next chapter wrote itself, ten years after all the madness began, ten years of us bonding during the tenth month of the year, my dad didn't make it to this postseason. He didn't get to see A-Rod finally "become a Yankee" during the Twins series, didn't get to see Jeter being Jeter with a Game 2 HR to the black, didn't get to witness Torre being the best once again, making the right move by leaving an over-swinging Ruben Sierra in the game to smack the game-tying three-run HR in the biggest game of the season so far.
He won't get to see Yankees-Red Sox, only the biggest and best rivalry in all of sports, no matter how one-sided its been. Won't get to see if Mussina can outduel Schilling or if Kevin Brown can punch out hitters instead of clubhouse walls. He'll miss Pedro pitching high and tight, Matsui growing his legend with clutch hits, Manny trying to beat the Yankees by himself.
He'll miss all of that and more, I'm sure. What I'm also sure of is that I'll miss him more.
I'll miss talking to him about every sport, not just baseball, from Roy Jones, Jr. getting knocked out to Trinidad's comeback, what the Shaq-less Lakers and the talent-less Knicks might do this season, how Venus and Serena's dynasty went wrong, how Tiger turned to Tigger over some "kitty." We won't catch the Giants or Jets anymore, even as they enjoy their finest combined seasons since WW2.
From now on, every sport I watch, every Yankees or football win, every bit of false hope the Knicks provide during the preseason, every Don-King promoted boxing match--I dedicate this tenth month, and every one hereafter, to him.
October sports probably won't be the same for me anymore. No, in fact, I think it will probably mean more than it ever has, as it will now not only provide the usual excitement, heroics and heartache, but also a playing field full of memories of me and my dad that will keep the chapters writing themselves for years to come.
scribbled by Will at 10/11/2004 10:59:00 AM
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I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. (Joan Didion)
The Write One
Will. Lefty. Since Summer 1971. Over the next six months, I'll be saying some hellos, some goodbyes. Living, laughing, growing. Don't.miss.a.word.
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