Sumer is icumen in, lude sing cuckoo! has never been more entertaining than with noted wackadoo and former American League All-Star left-handed pitcher Bill Lee. He will be expounding on baseball and pitching every inning (both sides) for a weekend in the backwoods of Rowe, Massachusetts. This year it is June 10-12.
I am working up to it, since I got the Rowe Center newletter this afternoon.
I’m remembering the fun, the comradery, the lightness of it all. Right now I can’t really remember the soreness of it all, DENIAL. Probably in the next day or two I will remember, and be less entranced with the thought of going again.
When I went to this extravaganza of goofy fun, I belatededly celebrated my 65th birthday at Rowe with some other mostly younger
folks who had followed Bill Lee’s career with the Boston Red Sox and like me, just wanted to get his book signed by him, and play a little baseball with him.
I had to borrow every thing I wore except a hat and some cut-offs, including a $350 titanium bat, a glove that was the spoken envy of a couple of my teammates, and Mizuno baseball shoes. I drew the line at borrowing a real Red Sox uniform, though it was offered, and it turned out that since I was the only other person there who wore real baseball shoes besides Bill Lee, it would have been a bit much.
I was sure that I would be the oldest there but no! an old lady beat out my 66 years handily.
Lee was born in 1946, and if he didn’t have to go too long into an inning, he still has the stuff to rear back and take over. Part of the fun is that he actually coaches,
shares how he throws pitches, and how to play positions. He’s not stodgy, not professorial enough to get in the way of the fun of the games, but gives solid information done in a playful way.
He actually let me get a hit. It was a reward for coming up to bat for the third time and not going for a first pitch high fastball so that it was an easy out.
I lived in Boston during the time he played for the Red Sox, and the stories around that team were a lot of fun. In the audience at night, there were questions that came out about that team and today’s teams that made it certain that I was in the presence of baseball devotees, those who took Bill Lee’s saying, “You should enter a ballpark the way you enter a church!” as the gospel, though the lighthearted gospel.
Of course there were questions about steroids and drugs.
Lee: “The other day they asked me about mandatory drug testing. I said I believed in drug testing a long time ago. All through the sixties I tested everything.” Personally I do not believe that my hero would take steroids, if he played today.
In case you are wondering how I am going to work Rolfing®SI into this blog, here it
is, a quote from Bill Lee about brain function and performance:
“You have two hemispheres in your brain—a left and a right side. The left side controls the right side of your body and the right controls the left half. It’s a fact. Therefore, left-handers are the only people in their right minds.”