My Louisville and Me
The bat and I have history, but then so does my my first teddy bear. In fact the bear and I have more history together than the bat and I do. I never think about pulling out the bear. Partly because the thing is so damn fragile and also because that would be the time to check myself into a "special" hospital. Not that sleeping with a baseball bat is all that sane either, especially when you aren't worried about a tangible or at least realistically possible threat. What disturbs me is how damn comforting I find it. Apparently, happiness is really a cold bat.
There has been a bit of a tug of war over the bat in the past between me and my Father. My Father really does worry about break-ins and people coming to get him so he started keeping my bat in his bedroom back in the early 90's. In fact, I almost got whacked over the head with it more than a couple of times coming home late. When I finally moved out, I had a chance to actually use it to play baseball again. I took a look for it, but discovered my Dad had removed it from my possession and had taken it with him to keep by his bed at his new home in Chilliwack. He has been surreptitiously sneaking it out of my possession ever since.
Am I that concerned about him taking my Louisville? No, not really. I know where he lives and if he takes it again I'll bop him on the head with it. (yeah Dad, you read that right) Maybe it has to do with some sort unfulfilled dream about making it in "The Show"? Nope. I never played in a league as a kid and never had the inkling to either. I did however play with friends, with churches, against inmates at the Stave Lake Prison Camp, (with a Mennonite church) and with friends and co-workers in Montreal at parc Jeanne-Mance. Fun times. I have had dreams about being a pro athlete in other sports - basketball, boxing, tennis, running, even hockey when I was a very little kid - but almost never about baseball. The only dream I had was about playing in the 20's and 30's, but never about the modern game.
In fact, aside from films about baseball, I find baseball boring to watch unless people I know are playing it. Went to the All-Star game in Oakland, CA with my Dad in 1987 - one of the more boring experiences in my life. Granted all All-Star games are supposed to be boring according to former Major league umpire Ron Luciano, but this one was particularly dull. Thirteen innings before anyone got a run - THIRTEEN! Even when I was getting free tickets to see the Canadians play at Nat Bailey Stadium, I really only went because the hot dogs there were the best and they stocked sauerkraut. No, for me baseball is best watched in film form. Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, The Natural, Cobb all work for me.
Of course, none of this answers the initial question of why I find sleeping beside my Louisville so comforting? I do desperately need to get active and start exercising again. I am in terrible physical condition. Maybe I am taking my bat to bed as a subconscious way of provoking me to action? But baseball is hard to do alone and many of my friends are pretty inactive types themselves or at least not really amenable to team sports. Still, that doesn't explain the comfort factor. Perhaps it is best not to delve to deeply into this. Maybe the best solution is to just play ball.