i believe it was during game two of the alcs championship--you know that five hour, ten minute game?--that my metanoia occurred (how's that for a word?).

i was sitting there watching the game, anxiety plinking (is that a word? oh well, is now) away at my oh-so-many-emotions, when i thought, hold up, stop. the story is already written. the answer has been told. if my boys are meant to win, they will win. no need to worry or stress, just sit back and enjoy the game. feel the experience.

the story is written.


but that doesn't mean my boys got to ease up. they had to fight for the win--fight for their lives--every step of the way.

and win they did.

i've been thinking about this a lot lately. how somewhere out there i'm living a life that's already known. the answers are just in front of me, waiting. no need to worry, just enjoy the experience. but fight, fight through every step, scuffle, double-play.

the thing is... in baseball the answer is simple: score more runs than the other team and you will win. but how does one win in life--what exactly is one fighting for? and because the answer is ambiguous at best, it's hard to tell if you're attempting to re-write the story or just fighting for your life with more resilience and courage than you ever knew possible.

it's mucky. tricky. no clear lines.

the son of america's great pastime.

70 years ago today, one of the greatest ball players of all time (and one hell of a man), Lou Gehrig, gave the following speech:

"Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn't consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day?

Sure I'm lucky. Who wouldn't consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball's greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy?

Sure I'm lucky. When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift -- that's something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies -- that's something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter -- that's something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body -- it's a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed -- that's the finest I know.

So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for."

Today during the seventh inning stretch it will be read at ballparks all across the country to raise awareness for ALS.

I can't think of a better way to celebrate this country of our's than by celebrating one of the greatest men to ever call it home.

Happy Fourth of July!

#10: see the yankees play in the new stadium. check.

i love baseball. i love the history of it. the experience of it. i love baseball uniforms and hats. i was raised on a baseball field with a mitt on my left hand. i was raised kicking the dirt with my cleats and taking practice swings in the batter's box. baseball is in me. i understand it. take me out to the ball game--oh please take me out to the ball game. i'd go any day. it's the ideal date. the ideal way to spend a sunday afternoon--any afternoon.

so when my aunt offered me her extra ticket for last thursday night i did everything in my power to finagle my way out of of work. and finagle it did--success! 

so dressed in my blue and white striped t with my yankee cap placed firmly atop my crown (i've been to many a stadium and seen many teams with many fans--but no one dresses for the occasion quite like new yorkers) i headed uptown to see the bronx bombers play in the brand spankin' new stadium.

in many ways the new stadium looks much like the old (phew, relief)--it's just newer. but the really interesting thing is that baseball fields are as influential a player of the game as anyone else involved. each field in each stadium differs: where are the holes, the gaps? how easy is it to hit a home run? well, in this stadium, it would seem that home runs are easier to come by than in others (it will be interesting to see how this comes into play in the years to come).

so on thursday night i sat in my seat way (way, way) behind home plate with its magnificent view, covered in a fleece blanket and cheered and cheered. and i dreamed of the day that husband-to-be and i will have season tickets. and then when mo (perhaps the greatest closer of all time--a closer is a pitcher who comes in to finish the game when his team is ahead) sauntered down from the back of center field we all stood and cheered as he delivered three easy outs. mariano rivera (mo) is a rockstar of baseball if ever there was one. and so with the win the voice of frank sinatra wafted through the stadium--when the yankees win they play sinatra's "new york, new york"--and we all hummed along as the thousands of new yorkers dispersed back to their own personal pockets of the city.

and i went to bed happy. in my pocket. in my bed. on the upper west side. dreaming of the fields of my youth and the games of the future.