Monthly Archives: March 2018
On Opening Night, 1986, the Mariners tasted some of the rare success that year would bring. Mike Moore battled Mike Witt and the Angels for 7+, then the two teams headed to extra innings before Jim Presley – one of my all-time favorite M’s – delivered a Grand Slam to win it.
That was the last time I watched the Mariners on Opening Night.
Having relocated back to Silverdale, and having made sure that my DirectTV allowed me to get Root Sports (Channel 687), I made a giant plate of my famous Chili Cheese Fries, grabbed an adult beverage and plopped down in front of my 55″ HiDef TV to enjoy the pregame and nine innings of Mariner glory.
There is, of course, something special about Opening Day. If you win, it’s hopefully a portent of things to come. If you lose, well.. it’s just one game, right?
Over the past three or four Opening days though, I was able to share a good deal of the excitement and joy of Baseball with my friend and shipmate on USS Michigan, Curt. He worked for TV in Chicago, and was usually at the game. He always had something cool happening behind the scenes, and often I would get a text of a picture of something that never made the broadcasts.
A couple of years ago, he managed to get – I don’t know how – a hard copy of the Dodgers Media guide from Vin Scully’s last season. It’s on my shelf of Baseball treasures, now more because of how it got here than anything else. He set up a Facebook page where we could share – almost privately – baseball stories that were more than how our favorite teams did. It was about how great baseball is.
Curt passed away a few days before the season started this year, after an all-too-short battle with kidney cancer. The last text I got from him was a Thumbs Up reply to a message of encouragement I sent him as he went to the hospital back in January. We still weren’t sure how serious it was.
By the end of Spring Training, Curt was gone.
It’s going to be another great year of Baseball. Records will be challenged and even broken; games will be won in the last at bat; bases will be stolen; and TV’s will broadcast games. But the airwaves won’t be touched by Curt.
Yes, Baseball Does Not Suck.
But not having a friend with whom to to enjoy it, even if he is 2000 miles away, will.