Another Man Moment slides into oblivion as I ponder my son’s recently acquired balls.
We were at the Sox-Yankees game at Comisky Park just south of Chinatown here in Chicago sitting in seats good enough for God. My son had brought his glove, a ball, and a sharpie. We were 20 rows up from the Sox dugout, looking down the first baseline from home plate. Roon and I grabbed the sharpie and the gear and loped down the steps to the dugout where Jenks signed our stuff. It was sunny and nippy and the guy selling hot dogs was saying it like it was some kind of verdant truth. He didn’t call out HOOOOOT DOOOOOGSS! Like they usually do. He glared into the crowd, banged on his box, and stated, perfunctly: Hot Dogsh. Like he was saying “It ain’t hot pretzels, idiot.”
So Connor is sitting there burning in the sun and he has his little black glove and his Sox hat and his Sox shirt and Morkoviak slices one to 8 o’clock and guess who gets it? Oh yeah. The guy RIGHT BEHIND MY SON. Connor had his hand in the air and it tipped his glove and shot into the open hands of the baseball marketing director sitting behind us.
This has happened before. We were at a Bulls game and one of those impossibly curvaceous t-shirt girls slingshot a bulls shirt into the air over our head. Its parachute opened and it drifted down like some kind of modified Chinese water torture specialty, like a Fellinni take, like for seven and a half years it floated down directly over my son’s head. There’s no one around us for like fourteen seats and he’s screaming. I mean BELLOWING “I GOT IT I GOT IT” and just as it’s almost in his hands the wind (wind?) blows it one seat back to a guy in a suit (AT A FRIKKING BALL GAME). I just turned around and stared down into his brain stem for a second and he smiled and handed the shirt to Connor who proceeded to scream until his throat blew out.
But it was different at the Sox game. The guy had class. He didn’t even hesitate. He shoved it into Roon’s glove, said “Nice catch, kid! GO SOX!” and patted him on the back. Connor was practically weightless. He held the thing up and whooped with the kind of unadulterated glee that made my inner Southern boy proud.
After the game (Sox pasted the Yankees) we walked out and Connor carried the ball in front of him and kept saying to me “It sure is cool that I caught this foul ball, huh?” “Yep, caught a foul ball, right here. Yep this one. Nice one dad, huh? This foul ball? This ball? That I caught?” All the way down six levels until we were in the car. Then he rolled the window down. “I sure like this ball. This ball is super cool, This foul ball. That I caught.”