"Well, it was
good, Pop. Way out toward center field."
A home run in the
last inning which wins the ball game and sends the Brooklyns down to defeat is
never a good home run. What the kid means is that it was well hit. I admit
that. I'm a Brooklyn fan, but I admit that. The ball travels maybe four hundred
feet before it clears the fence in right center, so it's a good hit. All right,
but don't rub it in. Three and a half hours I sit there in the bleachers on a
hot day and we lose anyway. So what's good about it?
A guy on the
trolley says to me, "They shoulda passed him, that Kluszewski."
didn't wanna put the winning run on base," I tell him. "That's
baseball. You play the averages."
put Kluszewski on, neither," this guy says, grinning. "Klu hit it an'
This guy jokes,
yet. This is a time for jokes when you have a ball game sewed up eight-to-seven
in the ninth, and you lose it with a home-run ball.
I look out the
window, and the guy says, "So tomorrow's another day."
I don't even look
at him. That kind of guy I don't look at.
You don't mind
losing a ball game now and then, but when you lose to Cincinnati it hurts,
especially when you got it sewed up, and especially in September and you're way
out of first place and that old lost column can murder you.
The kid's getting
wise here. He's eleven now, and I've had him down to a lot of ball games, and
he argues baseball with the other kids on the block.