Getting Real: Chapter 53 – Part 5

From my restful position, my eyes caught sight of the clock on the table, which registered at six thirty. A short impulse to panic subsided quickly as I realized no one would be pounding on my door this evening. As my eyes again closed to quiet repose, I envisioned the lineup cards being posted before the Opener in Cincinnati:

…………….. COLTS …… VS……. REDS…

1. Eddie Kasko—shortstop – Pete Rose—second base

2. Nellie Fox—second base – Chico Ruiz—third base

3. John Paciorek—center field – Vada Pinson—center field

4. Walt Bond—first base – Frank Robinson—right field

5. Rusty Staub—right field – Gordy Coleman—first base

6. Jim Wynn—left field – Bob Skinner—left field

7. Bob Aspromonte—third base – Johnny Edwards—catcher

8. John Bateman—catcher – Leo Cardenas—shortstop

9. Ken Johnson—pitcher – Jim Maloney—pitcher

Our Major-League team was breaking camp tomorrow, Sunday, April 12, a day before the first “real game.” It would give us a day to acclimate to the colder weather. Since spring training began in February, I had been anxious to make the team and be in the starting lineup for the opening game against the Reds. After a magnificent spring, the team and I were anxious to begin the regular season and see how long we could keep alive our “magical ride to the championship.”

The plane for Cincinnati took off at 10:00 am. As I watched the smiling faces of players who made the roster, I couldn’t help but empathize with those not present. They would continue their “training” with hopes that someday they would attain the status of a big-league player.

As I felt the swirling winds of time settling in on my present perspective, I could feel and see the plane ascending over the horizon, in its two-hour flight to the start of a new baseball season. All players would have the same new opportunity to begin again. How they prepared themselves yesterday would determine the success they’d find today and its tomorrow.

The joy of first-time big-league experience is the fulfillment of countless childhood dreams, imagining glorified moments of grandeur. Sustaining the moment will become the art of allowing the confidence-boosting high-vibrational impulses to flow by the highest level of frequency that each is presently capable of inducing.

The empty seat next to Steve’s would forever be my reminder of the sometimes harsh reality in “that world” outside of dreams. But a new realization, within the “real world,” would make it possible to now appreciate the “contrast.” Though it was once intimidating, now I will simply rise above any present dire circumstance to a higher perspective. There I will ultimately reap benefits from an expanded sense of mental and physical competency.

Monday’s game would begin at 1:00 pm. The lineups were announced and the “cards” presented to the umpires prior to the first pitch. It was without a sudden, unexpected sense of disappointment that one prominent name was unobtrusively replaced in the visiting team’s lineup. It would have been an unconscionable act of omission had the “world of dreams” maintained its credibility in the unimaginative “world of reality.”

…………COLTS……..………….. REDS

1. Eddie Kasko—shortstop – Pete Rose—second base

2. Nellie Fox—second base – Chico Ruiz—third base

3. Pete Runnels—first base – Vada Pinson—center field

4. Walt Bond—left field – Frank Robinson—right field

5. Rusty Staub—right field – Gordy Coleman—first base

6. Jim Wynn—center field – Bob Skinner—left field

7. Bob Aspromonte—third base – Johnny Edwards—catcher

8. John Bateman—catcher – Leo Cardenas—shortstop

9. Ken Johnson—pitcher – Jim Maloney—pitcher

Before fully awakening into the realm of present reality, I remembered the conclusion of that transcending day, as it highlighted a victorious new beginning for a team with which my fondest desire would have conspired to be an integral part— Colt .45s, 6; Reds, 3.

After the last vestige of gossamer filament removed itself from the lids of my imaginative time-space warp, my eyes opened widely to the brilliant expanse of a small but fortified study. With all necessary machinations of modern technology, the accoutrements for conducting a normal, daily regimen was fully in notice. It felt as though half dozen months had gone by, but the physical evidence showed that I simply had gone to sleep just twelve hours earlier.

THE END


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