My life has entered extra innings.
This expected situation has defied the odds;
I can’t say no one won. It’s more like no one lost, and here I am
Playing still, with a ghost on second even though I thought I’d be the ghost
By now. The first three innings I was a cowboy chasing villains with Bob Steele
And Johnny Mack Brown, and then an astronaut exploring space with Captain
Video. In the great outdoors, in the middle three innings, I discovered a small
Pink rubber ball mispronounced a spaldeen, and became a daily athlete filled with
A mixture of love and enthusiasm as I played punchball, a caveman form of
Baseball, on the concrete school yard field. I was a powerful speedster (in my
mind), unaware that I was building a solid foundation for a lifetime love affair
With baseball. I soon found the Yanks on that same RCA I grew up viewing, and I
Was hooked, modeling my softball swing after Mantle’s. Time crawled and I
Helped win a college softball title in ’63. The final three innings of regulation time,
I taught, I learned, I taught and learned, and I was thrilled my students were on my
Side, as we defeated that old opponent Ignorance, series after series. And now in
Extra innings, I play my heart out every chance I come to bat or play the field, not
Knowing what the final score will be – – – but I am sure no one will yell “Bum” at
Me from the stands. The fans who have been watching my game closely all these
Years will applaud me ’cause they’ll know that I always lived up to my nickname,
“Herbie Hustle”!