Baseball and I have a love/hate relationship.
We began our tumultuous affair in 1978 when I was in third grade. Although I was a great defensive player, my offense was terrible thus making me one of the last kids picked for baseball games.
Our relationship improved in 1979 when I was singing “We Are Family” with the rest of the country as the Pittsburgh Pirates mesmerized us with their world series win.
We lost touch for a few years until my hometown team, the Houston Astros, made a run at the World Series in 1986. Their 16-inning game 6 of the National League Championship is still one of the most memorable game in baseball post-season history. Unfortunately, the Astros lost to the Mets.
Baseball and I maintained strong ties over the next few years. We enjoyed peanuts and Cracker Jacks. When we were at the ball game, I didn’t care if I ever came back.
Sadly, our love affair soured during the 1994-1995 baseball strike. Things were never the same after that. Sure, we managed to reconcile in 2005 when the Astros earned a trip to the World Series, but you could feel the tension in the air as we witnessed the team’s heartbreaking loss.
It took the birth of my son to bring baseball back into my life. He joined a Little League team this year and baseball and I have agreed to be cordial to one another for his sake.
But baseball is wily. She knows the key that the key to my heart is fashion and that I’m obsessed with cuff-links. I started collecting cuff-links about five years ago when I discovered an unusual pair in a London shop. Now I buy a set of cuff-links in every country that I visit. I current own 27 pairs.
The cuff links arrived in an elegant red box adorned with a white ribbon. These unique cuff links are handmade from from authentic major League game balls from selected teams: Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Mets, Dodgers, Cardinals, Phillies and non-team specific.
I knew my son would be thrilled when he saw my spiffy new accessories.
“Dad,” he asked. “Why are you dressed so fancy?”
“Because I’m about to go play some baseball,” I said. He looked at with a confused expression.
“Um, Daddy,” he said. “I don’t think you’re dressed for baseball.”
“Yes, I am,” I replied. “Take a look at my cuffs.” I extended my arm so he could clearly see the cuff links. His eyes widened and a smiled crept onto his face.
“Those are cool, Daddy,” he said.
“Yes, they are,” I said. “These cuff links were made from and actual baseball used by the Yankees.”
“Really,” he said. “That’s totally awesome.”
We spent several more minutes talking about baseball, the Yankees, and my son’s first season of Little League.
I took one more look at the cuff links and thought about the memories that my son and I will create on the field of dreams. These cuff links will be a constant reminder that despite our troubles, baseball has been and will be very, very good to me.
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