Life, can be a
fickle, volatile, capricious beast. Maybe
I’m being kind because I don’t want to piss off Mother Nature, but if life were
a baseball pitcher, it would be a mixture of scattered parts of Sandy Koufax
and Don Drysdale, all the talent in the world and the stones to throw one at
your head just to get you off the plate. I guess that means it would have to
have some Bob Gibson thrown in for good measure.

While some are
stuck in their own versions of “Groundhog Day”, without the ability to throw a
right hook at Ned Ryerson, others are all over the place, like a wild little
league pitcher than control his ever changing body, with something new making a
visit on a daily basis.

Some books have
more chapters, just as some people see the sun rise and set more often.  Yesterday, I awoke to the news of the untimely
death of the Miami Marlins ace José
Fernández at age 24. A life that seems not to
have had enough sun sets since he died so young. I’m not going to pretend to
know a lot about him. I know he appeared to love life, he seemed to have a
passion about the game of baseball that likely filtered out into anything he
did. I know he escaped Cuba as a teenager and I recall the footage of him
reconnecting with his grandmother (in hindsight that is even more beautiful
today). I don’t know the details, of what happened on the water, and I’m not
one to search for every detail of an event like that, I simply just hate that
it happened.

As the night and
weekend was winding down, I noticed some tweets talking about golf legend
Arnold Palmer had passed away at the age of 87. Two famous sports athletes in
the same day. Two of who knows how many people that took their last breath on
Sunday September 26, 2016. Mr. Palmer saw many more sunsets than Mr. Fernandez,
that is for certain. The golfer walked the earth 53 years before the young
right hander was even born. That # encapsulates my father’s entire life and
then some. It’s damn near 4 of Mr. Fernandez’ lifetimes.

The discussion of death
and age always seem to make me go back to Lou Gehrig and
Bob Hope. Again, two famous people that we know far more details about than we
are entitled to know. I could handle being wealthy, but I wouldn’t want to be
famous. Gehrig and Hope were born three weeks apart in 1903. Lou died in 1941
at 37, and Bob lived to be 100. I guess the thing that is hard to comprehend
about that is the images of Gehrig we see are black and white, he’s young, he’s
fit, he’s the by god Captain of the New York Yankees. With Hope we get to see
the older, shorter, fatter, balder comedian and entertainer on USO tours, or
other events on tv. It’s hard to imagine they were born in the same year.

Fernandez and
Palmer certainly weren’t the same age, but their time on earth ended the same
day. May both of them rest in peace, and it is certain that each has a legacy
that will live on. Late-night funnyman David Letterman had his friend and musician
Warren Zevon on his show once after Zevon learned he terminal lung cancer.
Letterman asked if he had any new perspectives, and Zevon simply summed it up by
saying one should “enjoy every sandwich”. The golfer Sam Sneed once told Ted
Williams that golfers “had to play their foul balls”, a cute and funny quote
between two legends. Sticking with a sports theme and playing off of Zevon’s
thought, I guess one should “swing at every pitch”, you simply never know. Now
whether I have the ability to encompass that thought process or not is an
entirely different story.


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