Each day, someone brought him out to the field. He was an old man who could no longer see, but while the years had taken their toll on him, robbing him of his vision, he still came out each day to mimic old sports announcers and give play-by-plays to imaginary games.
On this day, he was an old Cubs’ announcer, calling something that announcer had never called.
“Gabby Hartnett, stepping to the plate. Two out, nobody on, bottom of the ninth and we’re tied 5-5,” he said, channeling and old Wrigley Field sportscaster. “C’mon Gabby, get something started. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you up-to-date on what happens after today and any playoff information as it becomes available. Brown winds and fires. That ball’s pretty well hit, deep to left, back, back…. HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY! Gabby Hartnett has just smacked a solo home run over the left field fence and the Chicago Cubs have won the 1938 National League pennant! WOW! What a wallop!”
Richard and Melanie chuckled at the old-timer before looking out on to the field. Melanie spotted a woman sitting next to the old man and sat down next to her.
“I’m Jack’s granddaughter,” the younger woman saud. “Grandpa’s eyes aren’t that good anymore, but we bring him every weekend. A lot of people like is old calls.”
“Whose bats are those over by the backstop?” Melanie asked, a mischievous grim crossing her face.
“They’re here if somebody gets a game up.”
She walked over to the backstop, picked up a bat, handed it to Richard and then motioned for him to go to the plate. As he embarassingly walked over to home, Melanie went back to the stands and whispered something to the grandaughter, who relayed it to her grandfather.
“Go on, take a few swings,” she then called to Richard, who sheepishly complied.
“Joe DiMaggio stepping in, with a runner on and a man out in the eighth,” said the old-timer, making like Mel Allen.
“Get a hit Joe,” Melanie cooed.
“Wow, there’s some brunette down the third base line cheering on Joe,” the old man said.
Richard smiled, took a swing and started charging down to first base.
“Aw Marilyn,” he thought to himself. “Do you have to wear the dark-haired wig?”