Via Media

Not about religion, but…maybe.

In Sunday’s NYTimes Magazine, Michael Lewis pens a marvelous, beautifully written piece about his old high school baseball coach and changing times.

The changing times are, of course, parents who want their kids to be stars, but don’t want them to have to suffer or work for it.

Be careful if you’re a teacher and you read this piece: you might strain your neck nodding in agreement.

And it’s just so wonderfully written:

As the other team continued to erupt with joy, Fitz glanced at the runner on third base, a reedy fellow with an aspiring mustache, and said, ”Pick him off.” Then he walked off and left me all alone.

If Zeus had landed on the pitcher’s mound and issued the command, it would have had no greater effect. The chances of picking a man off third base are never good, and even worse in a close game, when everyone’s paying attention. But this was Fitz talking, and I can still recall, 30 years later, the sensation he created in me. I didn’t have words for it then, but I do now: I am about to show the world, and myself, what I can do.

At the time, this was a wholly novel thought for me. I’d spent the previous school year racking up C-minuses, picking fights with teachers and thinking up new ways to waste my time on earth. Worst of all, I had the most admirable, loving parents on whom I could plausibly blame nothing. What was wrong with me? I didn’t know. To say I was confused would be to put it kindly; ”inert” would be closer to the truth. In the three years before I met Coach Fitz, the only task for which I exhibited any enthusiasm was sneaking out of the house at 2 in the morning to rip hood ornaments off cars — you needed a hacksaw and two full nights to cut the winged medallion off a Bentley. Now this fantastically persuasive man was insisting, however improbably, that I might be some other kind of person. A hero.

Previous Posts
Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus