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At Mom's, I had just started printing a set of address labels for her from her computer, and went to the living room to watch the baseball game while the printer churned. I knew it was late in the game. The frame at the top of the screen indicated A's 3, Tigers 3, 9th inning, 2 outs, two men on base. Magglio Ordoñez was batting. The pitcher pitched. Ordoñez swung.

It was the most perfect thing I think I have ever seen. You knew what happened the moment the ball hit the bat. The ball arced straight and true into the middle of the lower deck in left centerfield of Comerica Park. The fans exploded in a frenzy. The Tigers exploded from the dugout. The game ended, 6-3, and the Tigers were going to the World Series.

It's amazing what baseball can do to me. It's not completely logical. Something like Maggs' home run (or Kirk Gibson's in the series in 1984, say, the last time the Tigers won it all) just gets me almost the way certain music does, or certain pictures, or memories of my dad. No other sport inspires the same emotions. I don't think any other sport can, to be honest. There's just something about baseball. If you don't get it, you hate it, but if you get it, you really get it. And you get grown men reciting statistics as if they were remembering loved ones in their own family, and getting misty-eyed over spectacular plays they actually saw.

Mind, we still have the World Series to go. I could be insufferable by the end of the month.

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December 2017


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