Balls and Strikes, a Small Window of Opportunity and the Great American Pastime

He stopped by to bring an old
news clipping of a member of
my family and before he
left, I asked him, if as a former

college baseball pitcher, he
ever worried about losing control
of his throws. He stopped cold.
Yes. It had been what stymied

him. I asked because I, too, a
former, college baseball player
had lost control of my throws
and it ended my playing days.

We talked of Steve Sax, the Los
Angeles Dodger, who near instant-
aneously lost his ability to throw
from second to first in front of

forty-thousand fans. I said there
had been a traumatic occurrence
between the season I had control
and when I no longer had it. He

nodded knowingly but didn’t ex-
plain. An exacting discipline —
throwing the ball at a rapid speed
or a curving arc 60’6” through a

small window of opportunity and
something not related to that
function can mean the difference
between a strike and a ball, success

or failure and the end of a career.
We had a new bond in sadness. I
knew misery is supposed to love
company but I felt sorry I brought

it up in the first place because I
could see a hint of discomfort
on his face at the memory and
maybe even the disclosure.

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