Roughly 8.9 million children play Little League. About 750 players start the season
in Major League Baseball. Of all MLB players, 1% will become Hall of Famers.

The end of my baseball days, were spent carrying a bat and a bag
full of gloves and prepared for whatever role I would be asked to play.
In time, I learned if you don’t have a position the coach calls yours,
then you’re no longer good enough to have one.

While I waited for my chance, I tried to earn my keep: chased
foul balls, warmed up the pitcher or a corner outfielder
between innings, and remained cheerful in the face of the truth
coming at me like an a high-and-tight fastball.

In the age of specialization and the results-based business of baseball,
I was serviceable, like the twenty-fourth man on a major league roster
is serviceable, each of us holding on, waiting for a chance that never comes.

We’re all the same, everyone who plays, where even the best,
if they stay long enough, become obsolete. The end is seldom
on your own terms. For the best, Father Time remains undefeated,
or the new recruits will be bigger, faster, stronger, oozing

With a future of untapped potential, a coach’s seductive siren. I heard
her song, and I quit rather than be cut. This assembly line, whether
On the field or in Seoul, found an eager replacement.

Every at-bat, every pitch tells a story of change. Dynasties rise and fall.
Bad teams get rebuilt. Team photos fade, get stored in the closet.
Everyone moves on, until it becomes history no one bothers to recall.

In time the best are honored with plaques on athletic department walls
and in halls of fame. They, too, disappear, only to come alive in
remembrance, a finger tracing the embossed lettering like braille.
The closest I will get to touching greatness.