Well I’m not that elegant. [Sheepish giggle, hair flip.] But I do enjoy a chic scarf and a mimosa from time to time. I know. Who the hell do I think I am? Trying to hang out with you guys, bah!
Allow me. We might have more in common than you think.
Harry Kalas was the soundtrack of my childhood too. His voice crackled through the old clock radio on our kitchen windowsill-- in the house where I grew up around a buncha Drunk Phils Fans.
I can still picture the notes my mom sent my brothers to school with the day after the 1980 parade. “Please excuse…” they all began, the word “please” spelled with one big-ass red Phillies P. Wonder what the nuns thought of that.
Baseball and Catholicism were always overlapping themes at our house. Take for example my brother Kevin, who chose the Confirmation name Peter. Shortly after kneeling before the bishop and accepting responsibility for his faith and destiny in the name of St. Peter the Apostle, he told my parents the name was actually in honor of one Peter Rose.
Then there was one of the greatest Phillies fans of all time: my beloved Godmother, Sister John Cecelia, whose rally towel I will treasure for the rest of my life. She was always holding it up to her mouth, biting it and whispering inaudibles. I am pretty sure that thing absorbed just as many curse words as it did prayers.
Sometimes it’s the little things that help honor a great. I can still picture my sister’s Certificate of Attendance for Steve Carlton’s 3000th strikeout displayed on our bedroom mirror. Below that, tucked away in our jewelry box, was a bag of Vet dirt.
As you might have guessed, I’m not big on things like “stats” and “facts.” What I can offer you here are memories, feelings, and pop cultural references that I hope you can identify with. Sure I get mad at Howard in the heat of a moment and ask my half-asleep dog, “What the hell is he swingin’ at!” What I won’t do the next day is blog about the Big Piece’s record against lefties.
In the interest of full disclosure, I also won’t pretend that it didn’t take me years to fully comprehend the balk. I lived a lie by creating the façade I knew what the hell was going on simply by mimicking the reactions around me.
“Whoa whoa whoa he was still on the mound!” someone would yell.
It was a horrible, shameful secret.
Now, to recover some level of credibility here, I am going to use bullet points to present some stats and facts I am comfortable with:
- In regards to levels of awesomeness, Dutch’s mullet was second only to McBride’s afro.
- It is pretty freaking amazing for a pitcher to hit a homer EVER, let alone in the World Series, but more importantly it takes a real man to accentuate a pair of stocky calves with a nice stirrup sock.
- It is 100% appropriate to change the channel during a Flyers Stanley Cup game when something beautiful and perfect is happening on another channel.
A few weeks ago I sat across a table engaging in painful small talk with some guy. When the conversation went from slightly awkward to eight full seconds of sheer silence, I asked if he was a Phillies fan. (At the time I was thinking the very worst that could happen was that he’d be a Yankees fan.)
He crinkled his nose, shook his head and then looked me directly in the eye to say he wasn't “really into” sports. (Waah-waaaah.) My 10-year-old niece wears legwarmers and is on Team Jacob-- and even she wouldn't make that face about sports. She’ll at least sit on the floor and make glittery signs for the team while unintentionally picking things up. Is this what I would have to do with this dude? Oh GOD no, I interrupted myself, because THIS [framing situation with hands] is not happening again and there will not be a second one of THESE.
“That’s cool,” I responded, politely fake shrugging it off like it was no big deal. Well this is a bust, ya girl.
“I just never got into them.” he added. He must have been picking up some sort of false vibe that I was not completely repulsed because he just kept going. “I don’t have a favorite team or anything. I never understood how--”
“Well, some people just do.” Please stop talking to me now. Where the hell are my keys…
Here on DPF, I feel like I am back hanging out with old friends. After college I worked for a website that is no more, morningguys.com. (My God, I just realized that I used to write a blog before it was a word!) Anyway, it was associated with --but not legally affiliated with -- the guys on 610.
“Not legally affiliated with” being the key difference between A Job That Sounds Really Cool and A Great Job. To clarify, I would never take back that time for anything. I mean, I was so close to the action at Wing Bowls IX and X I could smell the hot sauce and vomit.
Eventually I decided to leave behind the glitz and glamour for things like “stability” and “health insurance.” My career now would be categorized in the “finance/ real estate” section of a dropdown box (of which I will spare you the super exciting details.) But now I get to hang out with you guys!
So let’s get this fancy cocktail party started.
I wanna know…If you were a professional baseball player, what would your At-Bat song be?
I'm gonna go with Janis and Another Piece of My Heart….
And each time I tell myself that I, well I think I've had enough,
But I'm gonna show you, baby, that a woman can be tough!
I want you to come on, come on, come on, come on and take it,
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby…