It’s baseball. And I am a deeply invested fan.
I cannot help it. It is just part of the DNA of our family by now to get involved in certain team sports. Blame it on my father.
We used to watch the little old TV set with bated breath while the Phillies played — yes, and also boxing matches in the days of Rocky Marchiano! And football, too. (My mother got so excited one football game she threw her ashtray in the fireplace while trying to empty it!)
But I don’t remember standing in the front of the TV holding my hands open up in the air vicariously catching fly balls while our team players were holding open their gloves and finding the baseball in the sky.
Fast forward about seventy years, and I am still a soft touch for baseball, and it’s the Mariners, since I’m now from the Seattle area. I have channeled my dad these summers watching the team develop and fail and recover and do miracles on the field. I know the players‘ names. I even know some of the players we play! And I root for our team and die a thousand deaths when they lose.
This year I’ve been especially focused on a player named Edwin Diaz. He is a new guy — a 20-something young fellow who is skinny and tall with wide shoulders and some of the fastest pitching on today’s field. I was first attracted by his nose!
He has a sort of Peruvian look and I am partial to the beauty of the indigenous people of Peru. But he is actually from Puerto Rico, I learn.
In any case he has that long nose and full lips, with his nose close to his face and flattened at the bottom so that it doesn’t stick out like most noses. It lies on his face like a foothill, hugging the contours. The lines are like a dance.
He does a meditation of sorts before he pitches, putting his baseball cap over his face for a moment. Then he turns around and takes charge of the mound. He stands there, poised with his whole body showing dedication to the duty of throwing a ball so a batter cannot hit it. He strikes people out really often. All business. There is something very vital and spiritual about someone tending to his field of mastery. Then, when he wins, he changes the seriousness into the nicest broad smile! What a happy guy!
So I decided to analyze what it was about his face. I am still working on it, but here is where I have gotten with a large graphic looking portrait using a publicity photo from the internet.
Edwin Diaz “closed” tonight while I sat on my stool right directly in front of the TV. It was the fourth night in a row that he had been called out to be our closer.
At the end of the 9th we were tied. The Mariners hit some stellar home runs (and I clapped very loud all by myself there in front of the TV.) Then Diaz came out at the bottom of the 10th inning. Then the Astros sent out some star batters to take the game away in “sudden death.”
Diaz struck ’em out. We won. I had to go upstairs to tell my daughter that we won.
She smiled at her old mother acting like a rabid baseball fan.
[An evening well spent watching something with rules and winners that is not politics. ]
SGH ©2017 July 17