“Wonder… go on and wonder.” That is a William Faulkner quote. I was looking to see if he didn’t have something to say about baseball. I didn’t look too hard and I like that wonder quote a whole bunch.
The Lewis Clark State College Warriors, my hometown team, play Faulkner University tonight for the NAIA National Championship. They call it the World Series; there’s some wonder for you.
It is a warm evening and the field looks so very green; the hills to the north are shading up a bit, lovely against the blue sky. I had a press pass for this thing a year ago and my ego reveled in the status of it all. But I am more comfortable as a volunteer usher, enjoying the games with the proletariat.
Depression and grief can steal your vigor for a while, but I have not had a nap today and feel mine returning. I cleaned the shit out of the basement this afternoon. I have never had much order in my life, but the idea appeals to me and I feel better when my place looks nice. They say that grief felt expands the heart, and that has held true for me; I am feeling kind tonight.
I interviewed Warrior head coach Jeremiah Robbins last year. He is a no non-sense coach with just the right amount of empathy for his players. He takes seriously the idea of helping them form character. Robbins likes to recruit what he calls, “tough kids.” Kids who learned the game by playing for hours in their neighborhoods. Not the professionally coached, from age five, kids our culture is producing too many of these days. That can’t be fun for children.
I grew up in a fairly tough neighborhood but was never tough as a kid. Cry baby momma’s boy was my label, although I like to reframe it and call myself the sensitive type.
I did find my toughness on the streets and am no longer afraid to fight although I doubt I ever will. It works against the kindness and tenderness my heart is feeling these days. After all, “Gentle beats the shit out of aggressive,” is a Hobo Metaphysic of mine.
Faulkner is out of Alabama and I have no idea if they are named after the writer and no one sitting around me does either. At any rate I was hoping for another shot at Bellevue, but Faulkner, the number 1 team in the tournament, beat them easily last night.
I talked to a mother of one of the Warrior assistant coaches while standing in line for a hotdog over at Cosco this afternoon. She said the team is highly motivated and feel like they will win.
I brought my mitt tonight. I don’t know if anyone is going to want to play catch, but I am happy to have it with me. Part of me feels like baseball is a waste of time what with all those hungry, houseless hobos out their. But I have baseball dreams at night and the game does stir wonder in me.
The Warriors won the game 12-11 and are the NAIA National Champions for a second year in a row. It was a wild game that set a record for homeruns: eleven between the two teams.