The really amazing thing is that Pup has played about as much baseball as Michael Jordan. He pitched and played shortstop in high school, but his team's season was just 12 games long, and he played only three American Legion games before signing with us. At East Anchorage this season he hit .333 with four homers and 12 RBIs, I think it was—an average week for me, of course—and threw an 11-strikeout four-hitter in the league championship, losing 1-0 to a guy who threw a no-hitter. Here, they don't want him to pitch. He'll play third—that is, if he learns where to throw the ball after knocking it down.
Gotta go! I hear long fingernails tapping ever-so-gently on my door, and it ain't Housekeeping!
June 30, 1994
DEAR MOM AND DAD (AND TRISTA),
I may be wearing number 27 for the Class A Spokane Indians, but I feel like I'm still in high school. I took early BP yesterday, and I chopped a few into the ground. I did spank a few, though, including one liner that knocked down the screen in front of the mound. Tim McWilliam, one of our coaches, was throwing, and he said I need to use my hips more so I can drive the ball to right. The other thing I learned is to always wear a helmet when Coach McWilliam is throwing because some of his breaking pitches break around your ear.
Our manager, Tye Waller, is a great guy. During regular BP yesterday he asked if I could pinch-hit if he needed me, and I said, "Sure, I'm ready." We lost the game 8-3 to the Boise Hawks, and he didn't use me, but I wasn't surprised. He says he wants to bring me along real slowly. Mr. Waller said, "We can do more damage than good if we rush you." I know that's wise, but it's harder than I thought, sitting on the bench.
Third base will take some getting used to. I'm O.K. fielding the ball, but looking up it's a different angle than from short. The throw just seems longer. Oh, get this. I was taking grounders yesterday, and I let an easy one go right through my legs. I was really embarrassed, but I don't think anybody was even watching.
Otherwise, everything is fine. I'm a little homesick, but I'll be all right. The guys here are great. There are no head cases or big egos on this team.
June 30, 1994
TO THE EDITOR OF THE DURHAM DAILY BUGLE,
Don't they teach manners in journalism school? I called your sports desk when I read in USA Today that Trajan Langdon had signed a baseball contract, and the man I talked to was downright rude. So what if a "gadzillion" other loyal Blue Devil fans tied up your lines? The USA Today story didn't say if Trajan was still coming to Duke. It wasn't until I called Duke that I learned that he was still coming to Durham, thank god, and that Duke actually gains a scholarship because the Padres are going to pay Trajan's way through school.
Hey, it was bad enough last month when it looked like Coach K was ditching us for the NBA. Give us Blue Devil fans a break. Better yet, give us the news!
A Disgusted Reader