“…The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game — it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again….”
Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman were elected to the MLB Hall of Fame.
Yesterday Chipper Jones joined the ranks of the Immortals. His ascendancy to Olympus in Cooperstown, in my family, was met with tears. For my nephew-in-law, it was his coming of age in baseball. According to an uncle my marriage, you do not become a true baseball fan until you follow someone from his rookie season to the Hall of fame. Today, Rachel’s husband did just that. Unfortunately, according to my uncle, the way you look at the game will never be the same.
I shed so many tears today.
Chipper Jones was my father’s favorite player. He was smitten with him from almost the moment he first took the field in Atlanta. The bitter irony is he retired the year after my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. The tragedy is AD destroyed, quite early, his interest in baseball. My father died in 2014. Yesterday was really the first time I truly cried, truly missed him.
He would have been thrilled. It brings me to the greatest movie clip there is – describing the nature of baseball. The world does change. What was once is no longer here. Yet – we have baseball, the one constant.
And – I’m still bawling.