Found in the Grass

Wednesday night after work, I went to a baseball game. It was the week of publishing deadlines, Wednesday had been a long and often frustrating day, and the Baltimore Redbirds, a team in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, a summer wooden bat league for college students, was playing their home opener in Towson. It was something that I would have liked to go to, but the demands of work made that unlikely, only in mid-afternoon it looked like it might be possible with a little luck and a bit more pedal to the metal, so to speak, and I was able to leave the office at 6:30 instead of the more typical 7:30 or 8 during Hell Week.

I missed the first three innings, but that couldn’t be helped. I counted my fortunate that I only missed three innings.

The crowd was sparse — maybe fifty people attended? — but the baseball itself was pure.

After the game, walking back to my car, I found a foul ball in the grass. In the late innings, someone had smacked a ball up and over the grandstand, and there it was, just sitting there in the twilight. “This ball needs a home,” I said. It was the first foul ball I’d ever found . I had my hands on one at a Harrisburg Senators game in 2014, but I couldn’t grasp it; it bounced off my palms and darted away, leaving my fingers stinging for a day.

I put it on my dining room bookshelf, next to a Harrisburg Senators victory ball, which isn’t really a baseball, though it looks like one. (It’s a squishy ball the Senators players throw into section 207 after a victory. Another relic of 2014.)

For those who care about such things, the books on my dining room bookshelf that are visible, from left to right:

  • An adaptation of Beowulf illustrated by Alan Lee, an artist known for his Tolkien work.
  • A redaction of Beowulf by the actor Julian Glover (The Empire Strikes Back, Game of Thrones), which is the basis of his one-man show.
  • A book on the Lewis Chessmen.
  • Another book on the Lewis Chessmen.
  • Pierre de Teilhard’s The Phenomenon of Man.
  • D.T. Suzuki’s An Introduction to Zen Buddhism.
  • Volumes 1-3 of Matt Wagner’s Grendel Omnibus. (And the fourth would be out of the picture.)

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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