Baseball in Heaven
My grandfather and I had a special relationship.
When I was young we lived near his home in Baltimore. But, my family moved away from
Baltimore when I was five and we lived most of my life in another state far away from my
grandfather. Whenever he called, however, I was the one grandchild he always wanted to
talk to so we could discuss his beloved Baltimore Orioles. I was the one grandchild who
followed sports closely and always remained a true Baltimore sports fan.
Later in life, I learned that my grandfather was actually a gifted baseball player himself when
he was young. In those days, he would explain, professional baseball players did not make
enough money to support a family so he had to make up his mind to either play baseball or
get married and raise a family. As it turned out, his love for baseball was only surpassed by
his love for my grandmother and, although he hung on to the newspaper clippings that
labeled him a “can’t miss professional baseball prospect”, he hung up his cleats and glove,
married my grandmother and went out to find a “real” job.
But his love for the game survived and year in and year out, he and I discussed the
intricacies of the game and enjoyed or lamented each baseball season based on the
successes and/or failures of the Baltimore Orioles. As crummy as the Baltimore bums are
today, I was fortunate enough to experience and share many more successful seasons than
poor ones during those limited years that I shared life with this amazing man.
I always felt sorry for my grandfather, considering him a victim of poor timing. Had he
been born about 50 years later in life, he would not have had to pick between being a
baseball player or earning a living – in fact, with his talent, he could have earned a much
better than average living while enjoying the one thing he loved most in life.
When my grandfather passed away, I was sure that he was joining a heavenly nine to once
again strap on his spikes and don the leather. Without a doubt, they must play baseball in
heaven. And I wait for the day that I sit in the heavenly bleachers and cheer on a young
grandfather playing this wonderful game with other boys of summer.
(Inspired by, “is there baseball in heaven”, by Constance, A Rambling Poet)
Copyright © Joe Flach | Year Posted 2010