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And one other factor… I like snakes

Half 2: 15 belongings you (perhaps, most likely) do not learn about me.

Grip it. Really feel it. Slam it into your glove. Hit it. Throw it. Baseball is straightforward magic.

Little question most of us are all aflutter this week with the prospect that if the Chiefs beat the Bengals this weekend, it’ll put Patrick Mahomes & Co. within the Tremendous Bowl on Feb. 12. However I am an equally (if no more) important occasion that happens two days after the Chiefs or Bengals beat the 49ers or Eagles in Tremendous Bowl LVII. Girls and gents, two days after The Large Recreation, pitchers and catchers report! Spring coaching will start.

(Fast editor’s be aware: I let the entire COMO Journal and Columbia Advertising Group employees know this week that I’ve white-hot hated for exclamation factors which, by the best way, is the Americanization of the Brits’ “exclamation marks.” I’m making an exception for the offending punctuation to explain the onset of the Main League Baseball season. Did ya hear me, y’all? “Pitchers and catchers report!” quickly. Maintain calm and look ahead to baseball season.)

My listing of life objectives and pursuits weighs closely with baseball and baseball reminiscences. And that is the place Half 2 of “15 belongings you (perhaps, most likely) do not learn about me begins. (Meet up with issues one by 4 in Half 1 right here.)

Speckled kingsnakes are typically fairly docile, except you have disturbed it on a gravel bar alongside the Black River outdoors Lesterville. (The discoloration on the thumbnail? A canine chunk. Simply so occurs I have been bitten, stung, pinched, pierced, gummed by 89 totally different sorts of animals. Keep tuned for the listing …)

5 – If baseball, bugs, or snakes did not work out, I guessed I would be a author.

Again after I was a wee lad, I assumed I would be a Main League baseball participant. In any case, I might hit the duvet off the ball. (Story to come back: I hit two grand slams in a single recreation.) I had a lifetime batting common of .440 and on-base proportion of just about .600. Oh, I used to be getting on base, however I wasn’t fleet of foot. However I used to be a sensible base runner and, in reality, as soon as acquired to second base on a stroll solely as a result of the pitcher, catcher, and shortstop simply weren’t paying consideration.

I additionally scored from first base on a sacrifice bunt gone awry and two or three errors, ending with an ill-timed, uber-awkward headfirst slide into dwelling throughout my stint on the Taco Bell group within the Babe Ruth league (Jefferson Metropolis, 1980 ). I nonetheless have not fairly caught my breath. And, by the best way, I do not recall our sponsor giving us free tacos. Our uniforms regarded just like the San Diego Padres. A brilliant-cool early 80s look.)

However I knew I would not be a giant leaguer without end (and because it turned out, I used to be a giant leaguer by no means), so I would want a job after my profession was over. I favored Reggie Jackson, who had attended Arizona State College so, naturally, that is the place I used to be going to go, most likely on a full-ride scholarship with a gang of professional scouts conserving tabs on me alongside the best way. Even higher, ASU had one of many nation’s greatest herpetology applications, and I already thought of myself fairly the skilled on reptiles and amphibians (snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, salamanders, et al).

Someplace alongside the best way on my tutorial journey, I discovered that the ASU herpetology program required top-level proficiency in superior math and science. My self-taught experience from my chemistry units (yeah, proper, do not combine canister A with canister B) and organic examinations (dissecting all method of railroad-killed critters) wouldn’t be adequate. And on account of my utter disdain for the time it was going to take to grasp even essentially the most rudimentary components of superior arithmetic—mainly as a result of math triggered the identical anxiousness I now expertise with kites and ladders—I needed to forgo a herpetology profession.

My No. 2 selection—entomologist—match the identical tutorial path as the primary one. I would need to accept being an novice snake-, lizard-, insect-, and bug-ologist.

No. 3 on the listing (and, sure, there was a listing courting again to age 10) was conservation agent/pure historical past man. However I might wait to pursue that coaching till after my enjoying profession was over. There’d be time.

I already thought of myself fairly the skilled on reptiles and amphibians (snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, salamanders, et al).

And if all else failed, I figured I could possibly be a author of some type. In any case, I used to be writing down lists like these, conserving a journal of forest and creek explorations way back to 8 years outdated, jotting down notes in regards to the fascinating occupations of the parents in my church and neighborhood, and penning essays in regards to the heartbreak of watching my Royals lose to the Yankees within the last inning of the American League playoffs two years in a row. There was additionally that fifth grade brief story, “The Fleas” (yeah, big fleas) that my trainer, Mrs. Elrod, beamed about. “Thrilling story!” she wrote in purple ink on the high of my paper, which I would just written for enjoyable and never as some project.

I smiled and instructed her, “I wish to be a author sometime.”

Her matter-of-fact, don’t-you-doubt-it reply sealed my destiny: “You ARE a author. Not sometime, however right now.”

I used to be 10.

6-Grand. slam. Grand. slam. Grand…?

I eleven hit two grand slams in a single recreation—one from either side of the plate—in the identical inning. Positive, it was highschool baseball, and the pitchers for Chamois Excessive Faculty weren’t going to strike worry into anybody, nevertheless it was a fairly cool accomplishment.

Because the DH for my Belle Tigers group, the feat got here within the fourth inning of a recreation we gained 38-0 on our dwelling subject, the birthplace of grass stains and ripped britches for a lot of of my early years. Thirty-eight to nothin’. Do not misprint there.

As a pure left-handed batter (I am a righty thrower), I used to be a good switch-hitter however by no means actually wanted to as a result of I hit lefties from the left facet no less than in addition to I hit righties. Coming to bat with the bases loaded within the backside of the fourth and hitting from the left facet, I put essentially the most excellent swing on the fattest, juiciest pitch I would ever seen. I nonetheless keep in mind the swing and the texture of contact that launched the pitch into orbit. Grand slam.

Arising later in the identical inning, the bases had been loaded once more. I switched to hit from the suitable facet to show my superior righty-hitting skill to both swing and hit it laborious or to swing and miss. I hit a line drive—appeared to be not more than 4 or 5 ft off the bottom—that whizzed over the left subject fence in a couple of second. Grand slam.

How about three of these in an inning? Nicely…ugh. I got here so near the chance. I used to be within the on-deck circle when a stroll loaded the bases. Once more. Earlier than I stepped into the batter’s field, the Chamois coach ran out of the dugout, threw a bandana into the air, and pulled his group off the sphere.

Take a look at the drum main? Sophomore yr at Belle Excessive Faculty (circa 1979), I held the massive baton. Do not make me blow that whistle.

7 – Give me pitch-perfect concord.

My favourite music and magnificence? An a cappella choir or quartet (sturdy mens’ voices required) singing outdated hymns. Not an enormous fan of southern gospel, however that’ll do in a pinch. Simply give me pitch-perfect concord, with or (ideally) with out instrumentation. Bliss.

Previously couple of weeks I’ve proven my nonetheless new’ish coworkers that I can really feel the beat of hip-hop and new (to me) sounds. However let me select and it will be Large Band sounds of the 40s (assume Bing Crosby, Harry James and his orchestra, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington et al.) and absolutely anything from the 70s which, in my view, is the Golden Age of music. Elton John, Bob Seger, Styx, Queen, The Jackson 5, the Commodores (Lionel Ritchie, please), Foreigner, Journey, even the Carpenters. Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Eagles, Bee Gees, Pink Floyd, Chicago… The bands and artists on my all-time playlists are 70s-heavy.

Solely a choose few nation music artists and songs make the lower. Hey Shania Twain. Man, I Really feel Like a Lady. (Oops, most likely too quickly after the factor that occurred in COMO earlier this week. Message me in the event you want further context.)

Brace your self for this subsequent half. I do not look after Bruce Springsteen. There, I stated it. Battle me. (Really, I would relatively not come to blows, so I am going to say I like The Boss in the event you pressure me to.)

8-Harry Potter? nope? Star Wars? Nah. Marvel stuff? Who’s Marvel?

By no means, not even as soon as, have I learn the books or seen films about any of the next: Harry Potter, Recreation of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, or the Marvel universe. Though I noticed The Empire Strikes Again from the Star Wars franchise within the theater, I’ve not—nonetheless to at the present time—truly watched the unique Star Wars film from begin to end.

Does this imply I am culturally illiterate?

What captures my TV- and movie-viewing fancy? Documentaries about historical past, baseball, social points, true crime, and pure historical past (animals, forests, local weather, and so on.) Reruns of 70s sitcoms. Seinfeld and The workplace. (You recognize you’ll be able to’t discover Northern Publicity anyplace?) And I’ve seen each episode of breaking unhealthy and Downton Abbey no less than 4 instances. Sorry not sorry. However that is most likely a sign of a extreme twin persona factor happening in my mind.

And I can nonetheless quote each line—with a superbly terrible British accent, in fact—from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. You may’t say I do not know a basic after I see it.


Arising in Half 3 of “15 belongings you (perhaps, most likely) do not learn about me.” We had been virtually on the Decide Judy present. Catch already on Feb. 1! (Doh! One other exclamation level, and one other…)

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