Turn on the Lights

Light poles weren’t easy to come around in Spokane, Washington in the ninety seventies.  They weren’t even easy to hide behind on a night when lights were required.

My late brother, Steve, although mostly revered for his wrestling talents, was also just as talented on the baseball diamond.  Too young to witness him playing, I can only recount some of his past through friends’ voices and my siblings’ memories.

While being recruited by college baseball coaches, Steve forbid our father from coming to any of his games.  Our father was not one who said anything during the game.  He would, however, discuss your batting average after the game.

Steve believed if our father was at the game, his batting average would drop dramatically.  Since he believed it, Steve was correct. He didn’t perform well when our father was watching.  Therefore, Steve asked dad to stop coming to all of his games.  Dad loved baseball and didn’t respect his son’s wishes.

One evening, after going to confession, my father thought it would’t be a terrible sin to show up to his games if he used camouflage.  It was the light pole which almost provided it.

Steve was playing centerfield, and our father was hiding behind the light pole directly behind him.  Steve sniffed him out and called him out.  “Dad! I know you’re hiding behind the pole!”

Dad found somewhere else to hide, Steve quit playing baseball after high school, and went on to win a National Collegiate Wrestling Championship .

Dad knew nothing about wrestling, but I know he was proud.



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