Blog Entry

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Posted on: August 13, 2008 2:54 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2008 9:36 am
Sports Appreciation Day!

  As a child growing up in the care of the C.H.S. I had very few opportunities to play organized sports and even fewer chances to see the games live. I do however remember the day I fell in love with sports and to be more exact, Baseball. Every year just after Thanksgiving the children in the home would get together to make out the list of things they would like to receive for Christmas. As a "lifer", the term for the older kids deemed unadoptable, i would sit back in wonderment. Each child would go to task writing the list. You would even see some verifying with Webster as to make sure they spelled each item correctly. The joy this brought to the faces of those kids was my gift. I enjoyed the hope they showed.

  For me and my little brother who had also been in the system for many years it was always the same thing, another waste of time but at some point we would cave in and make our list. He was 5 at the time and I 13 so this was always for me an effort in futility and yet I tried to be positive as not to cause him any more unnecessary pain. Every year he would put the same thing on the list. Parents. That was the list. The first few years he would be specific but as time passed the list became one word. For me it was always a grand gesture that I would put knowing that no matter how big or small I made the list I would get the staples, socks and underwear. Well this year I thought it would be really funny to put an unattainable gift, my attempt to appease my sense of doubt I would guess. I put down three words. Live sporting event.

  I had seen a few games on TV and was a fan of the teams all my peers hated. Being from NYC I chose the Dallas Cowboys in football simply because the team and I have the same birthday. I chose the NY Rangers for hockey because the left over jerseys we had for our street games were the Islanders and I despised them for that reason. I chose the SA Spurs in basketball because the only game I had ever seen was one with the Red, White and Blue ball and that was cool. As for Baseball I had chosen the Yankees. I had read a story about the great Thurman Munson and so I chose his team. I did not care that they were from New York or that they had won a bunch of games just that his story had so touched me has a young boy.

  So now that the background is set up I can finish the tail of Christmas. When the day rolled around we all come running down our respective hallways to see what we have. Everyone skips past the dining hall, which is amazing in and of itself but that is another tale, and head right to the large group hall. There it stood for all to see, THE TREE. All the kids smiled and when they noticed all the gifts wrapped under the tree they screamed for joy.I casually leaned on the wall and waited to see my little brother emerge from the pile.

  He had a little box and a very large card with his name printed in large letters on the envelope. I have to admit I was shocked. I was also perplexed as we had never seen this before and I was on my tenth Christmas in the system. He came over to me with a look on his face as to say what do I do now. I sat him down and told him to open the box. As he ripped it open it was a very unique gift, it was from a set of parents and it was a picture of his new room. The card was next and it simply read "We would like you to come and live with us" and had a picture of a young couple included. He was so over joyed he could not contain his reaction and vegan to jump and scream and thank Santa Claus and anyone else that would listen. When he finally calmed down he sat next to me and began to cry. "Will you be coming with me?" he asked. I had no way to answer him, I had no words to say. I was just about to try and put a sentence together when the young couple in the photograph touched me on the shoulder, almost as if on cue. The young lady grabbed my brothers hand and the young man help me to my feet. They guided us to the House mothers office and told us the news. Within in days he was gone.

  The only promise that was made to me was that we would stay in touch. When my brothers new father came around the following April i was , to say the least, shocked. I was in the courtyard playing chess. He walked up to me with the house "parent" and asked if I would like to go for a visit. I of course said yes. We got into a car and were driven into the City. We arrived and took a series of subway trains and when we emerged there it was. Yankee Stadium. I saw my little brother running towards me and tried in vain to hold back the tears. I had not seem him in nearly four months and now we are going to our first baseball game together. It was the greatest day of my childhood. He had gotten his Christmas wish and now I had received mine. I watched him and the game and to this day love the game.

  No matter what is happening around me I can always take myself back to that day , to that very second when the world was right, if only for a moment. It was baseball. I have since changed the train I take to the game as the Mets play in Queens but I still love baseball and I still remember the very second I fell in love with Sports.

Category: General
Tags: S.A.D.

Since: Mar 24, 2007
Posted on: August 15, 2008 7:53 pm

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Pitt it was a pleasure to have you for the trip. Buckle up there is more to come.

Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: August 15, 2008 4:26 pm

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Normally, I would not mention the skill involved in writing such a piece, but I would like to thank you for taking me along in this journey... your ability to help me see this through your eyes was remarkable... very well written...

As for the story, thanks for sharing, I am sure this must have been tough for you to write and in turn re-live. While I can not in any way shape or form understand the emotions that you went through during those trying times, and to have your brother taken from you must have been difficult to say the least, I can relate on a very small level. I was fortunate enough to be selected by a family at a very young age less than a year old and become part of my new family before I can remember much. With that said, many times I think of what might have been and your story allowed me a chance to see what might have been.

I am glad that you have been able to find such a fond memory from such a difficult situation. I can only hope that you have a smile on your face each time you walk into Shea... thanks for sharing!!!

Since: Mar 24, 2007
Posted on: August 15, 2008 3:57 pm

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

MTM I agree with you, to this day there is nothing like the smell of the field when you first turn into the gate to the seats, and not a better dog anywhere, Shea is the Best.

Thank you for the read also. Good to see you.

Since: Apr 3, 2008
Posted on: August 15, 2008 3:53 pm

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

sad, that's a great story. And I'm glad you're now a Mets fan!!!

You know, stories like these not only bring a tear or two to my eyes, but they remind me of the days of yore, when baseball wasn't a business. I had a true passion for baseball then and it was a beautiful thing to go to two or three minor league games per year! I still get that excitement (like last friday when my wife and I made it out to Flushing to watch the fish go down!!) each time I enter a stadium. So what I'm getting at is that this story takes me away from the business aspect of baseball that I see each day. What a great read!!

Viva the 7 train!!

Since: Mar 24, 2007
Posted on: August 15, 2008 3:15 pm

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Jagg thank you for stopping by, as always I enjoy your view, we will all get together and send you to your first game, then that will be a great story.

Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: August 15, 2008 2:45 pm

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Sad - that is incredibly touching and brings tears to my eyes. I wish I had a sports story to tell. Truly amazing that you were able to share such a magnificent event.

I grew up in a lab looking at scientific wonders in jars,  carcasses stuffed in refrigerators and the sweet smell of formaldehyde penetrating my nostrils.

Take care and again, thanks for sharing.

Since: Oct 30, 2007
Posted on: August 15, 2008 1:15 am

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Ok, good reason! 

Since: Mar 24, 2007
Posted on: August 15, 2008 1:05 am

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Well Hrem, that is easy to answer. Thurman Munson died , the Yankees did not do anything to honor him , I got very angry and started taking the 7 train. Thank you for the comment.

Since: Oct 30, 2007
Posted on: August 15, 2008 12:58 am

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Sad, God bless you!  Great story, thanks for sharing it!  Now, just one question pal:  If you're first stadium/game was the greatest baseball house in the world, how the hell did you become a METS fan?????

Just Asking.  lol

Since: Mar 24, 2007
Posted on: August 14, 2008 10:23 pm

Sports Appreciation Day! S.A.D.

Lazer thank you, this little story from my life seems to have done so much more than cleanse my soul, it also seems to have touched lives. My little brother would have been proud. I see his smile now as he would have said , "Of course my big brother wrote that, I taught him everything he knows" and he would have laughed.

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