"42story"My earliest baseball memory is standing in right field as a 14 year old; the team from my Village visiting another - Bright, Ontario was it's name (where the great cheddar cheese comes from).
It was my first year in the PeeWee league, and in our new farm house in a new Township, in a new Province ... and I wasn't feeling like I was 'on the Team'.
I wasn't in right field because of my great arm or ability to track balls slicing towards the right field line (both of which I later discovered I was very good at) - this was 14 year old's - I was in right field because the couch didn't bother to find out what part of the game I was good at. I was the outsider, the kid from Alberta - in right - I was there because hitters at this level aren't adept at hitting the ball the other way - and 90% of us were righties.
I watched motionless from medium-deep right field as the bottom of the innings paced by.
As the brilliant setting summer sun began to spot the infield the character of the light became angelic - like when the cinematographer puts oil on the lens of the camera to get that wisps of cloud look around the edges. At one point I noticed that I couldn't hear a sound from the infield. The wind was blowing in - and so even as I was playing relatively shallow (because of the wind) - because of the wind there was an acoustic shadow in right. The game I didn't feel much a part of was all happening in a fully brilliant, dream-like holiness - but in complete quiet - like a silent film made by god.
And I found myself at that moment, pinning for the hoop and backboard my dad had mounted for me on the yard-light pole, halfway to the barn - practicing my free throws and 20 footers.