Friday, February 03, 2012

Happy Birthday, Freddie

Fred Lynn - my all time favorite player - was born today in Chicago, in 1952.

Freddie played three and a half years for Baltimore - '85-'88. I was a season ticket holder back then and I was thrilled - he'd been my favorite player for so long, ever since the "Gold Dust Twin" days in Boston. He never played more than 140 games in any season, but he played every game full tilt. Many people thought he'd have been a bigger star if he'd been able to throttle back, but he couldn't. (I wrote a letter to the Sun once when one of their sportswriters complained about his "wreckless abandon" in the outfield. Oh, I said, if only it were wreckless; alas, it was too often wreck-full.) There were outfield poles in Memorial Stadium that were bent from him crashing into the fence. Man, I loved to watch him play....

I wrote this about him ... geeze, more than twenty years ago now. Supply your own cliché about time flying...
The Centerfielder

In mind's eye he is forever poised
Above the earth; all lift of air,
All blaze of fire and liquid grace of water,
And short, just barely short, of flight.
Earth claims, but cannot hold, him:
He belongs to other, lighter, elements:
Fire which possesses and defines him,
And the air in which he almost flies.
(It occurs to me that my guy from yesterday throve after leaving Fenway. This is one of the reasons baseball is different...)

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