Sunday, October 10, 2010

Go, Rangers!

I am like the Texas Rangers in a number of ways. The major league baseball team that morphed from the second incarnation of the Washington Senators in 1972. Anyone remember Tom Vandergriff? He was a hero to me. Brought major league baseball to my part of the world. I went to see a double header against the Minnesota Twins that year with my dad. He took me. Harmon Killebrew hit a homer, but the Rangers salvaged a split. That was about the time I decided to make a living via stories, and the year I became a Ranger’s fan.

I wish I had done that with my dad a little more often.

I watched the great Ted Williams (our manager) conduct batting practice, giving pointers here and there, then hopping into the batters box himself and putting on a show at the age of 54 basically telling his players that if he could do it at his age, then they should do it. Wayne Terwilliger (Twig), our third base coach, actually ran the game with Williams’ blessing. I still think the world of Twig. The man just can’t retire, and at 85 is still coaching minor league baseball.

Williams really should have managed the club. But it was so cool to see such a legend live and in person.

At the time, I thought that teaching was my calling, getting students to read the great tales with me as their guide. Just like my teachers had been to me throughout school.

I really should have been writing my own stories. But it was so cool to see such great teachers live and in person.

The Rangers have had great players over the years. I have read great writers. One of the greatest of the Rangers, Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry (pictured), cheated by throwing the illegal spit ball and the (at the time) legal puff ball. But you still loved the guy!

I cheated by chunking the teaching and writing and becoming an actor. And met a number of my life long friends that way. So I can’t regret it. How could I when I enjoyed it so much more than even watching the Sultan of Spit. And I really did love the Sultan of Spit.

He cheated, but he was always fun to watch.

Bringing the ship into port on this one, the Texas Rangers are in the baseball post season. They’ve never won the World Series. I’ve published nothing since I started writing in earnest in 1994. Yet on both counts. They’ve now won twice as many playoff games in two days (this past Wednesday and Thursday) as they did in the previous 37 years.

I’m hoping I can be as fortunate.

Too bad they lose yesterday, but there is today!

The Rangers have been patient, done the right things, had a break here and there. They’ve had confidence in their manager, players, and ... yay! ... are under new ownership.

I’ve been patient, am learning the right things to do, and am renewing myself in many ways. Coming under new ownership, one might say.

Just as I’m sure the Rangers will break my heart in the future, so, too, will the publishing industry. But oh, when the excitement hit ...

I can’t wait.

Having the Rangers winning the World Series would be like me being on the New York Times Bestseller like. Neither has been done, but there’s always the first time.

This entry will be shorter than most. Oh, well. I weighed in at 275 last Sunday, a gain of two pounds. That, though, was residual from the reunion. I’m confident that my weigh-in later this morning will some progress.

And I’m looking forward to posting writings on the new blog starting somewhere around All Hallows Eve. And, of course, I will be working on Catch a Falling Star, and my short stories.

I’ll let you know next week how I did.


  1. Rock, thanks for the wonderful baseball memories, many of which we shared together at the old Arlington Stadium.

    Check your first sentence for an interesting Freudian slip!

  2. And the bad thing is that I corrected that slip on the original post itself, but had to repost. I didn't correct it on my page draft. Oops! :-) I'm fixing it now.