There is something to be said for growing old: the ups and the downs of life that felt in my youth to be so monumental in their power to disrupt now seem to have leveled out on such a gradual basis that you hardly know that it’s happening.
That ponderous opening is designed to explain why I have accepted the woeful demise of my beloved Metsies for a second year in a row. This year’s collapse is ostensibly less egregious than last year’s, and there is yet another mitigating circumstance – again touched by the angel of aging – that helps give me a perspective at age 58 on all of this that I couldn’t have imagined at 28 or maybe even 38.
The disappointment I felt contrasts pretty sharply with the elation being displayed by several of the young guys in my office, Brewers fanatics all. Where I would have simply despaired about such treachery (the Mets, not my colleagues) 20 years ago, I now realize that what is clearly a bummer for me has provided these young whippersnappers with what was for me provided in a 1986 World Series moment or, better yet, the miraculous events of 1969. (Ed Kranepool artwork by acclaimed sports artist Bruce Stark is shown above)
We interrupt this program to provide a link to the Wall Street Journal, which featured an article on its website about investing in sports memorabilia, quoting yours truly and Heritage Galleries auction whiz Mike Gutierrez, among others:
And now back to your regular programming:
Thirty-nine years ago, I sat on the edge of a grimy bunk in a dilapidated barracks in the Philippines as Cleon Jones squeezed the final out of the 1969 World Series. And I wept unashamedly, aided somewhat by the fact that it was fourish in the morning and all around me were sound asleep as I listened to a radio broadcast of that historic moment. I had suffered through seven long years of Mets ineptitude, only to have them win the World Series when I was a half a world away.
And then another 17 years later, I started hollering and running up the stairs to wake my wife up after that ground ball rolled through Bill Buckner’s legs and my crew were on their way to winning a World Series that I would actually be able to watch. Good stuff.
So if my mild indigestion this morning provides for that kind of joy for some of the young fellows around here, it pretty much seems like the universe may be unfolding precisely the way it should.
See if that idea sells on the back cover of the New York Daily News.