Thursday, October 30, 2008

About a Boy

My husband's love of baseball began long before any love of me.

Too young to remember the 1980s team, he grew up rooting for Schmidt and Kruk and, most notably, Schilling. He and his father collected every possible sports memorabilia, seeking out mementos in the most remote of locations, from Jamesway to Woolworth. They love April through October, they love the Phillies, and they love baseball.

But the Philadelphia fan has not always had it so easy.

And so, as I've watched this gut wrenching post-season, I secretly prayed for a baseball team and its fans. Sure, there is famine, and war, and disease that should really take priority on anyone's prayer list. But, at least for this week, I prayed for a Philly win.

And it didn't come easy either.

Controversial calls.
Quiet bats.
An aw-shucks manager lost his mother.
Mother Nature decided to do her part in extending the anxiety.
And the clandestine fear that fate would once again take it all away...even when a win was so close.

And then it happened. They won.

I watched and waited for my husband's reaction. I was expecting the typical antics when Lidge delivered a strike out to seal the deal. From past experience, this includes shouts of triumph, wild gesticulations, and (occasionally) partially clothed laps run around the house.

It didn't happen. As a thousand texts from Pat, Tony, Skeeter, Eric and all my husband's cronies came in, my 32 year old, father of two stood up in complete disbelief.

He slowly walked toward the television to take in the spontaneous celebration.

He shook his head and he quietly called his father.

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