Pitchers and catchers aren’t the only ones working the kinks out in February.
My first spring training was in March of 1999. The old timers (the still upright World War II snowbirds) were on hand with their whiskey and oxygen, riding custom golf carts around Old Town Scottsdale, buying general reserve seats scooting up behind home plate to better keep score in a half-empty stadium on a work day.
Their wives blew up their beepers and they paused to make sure the noise wasn’t coming from their pacemakers. They’d make haste postgame to the darkest corner of the Pink Pony and whisper stories about past lives that weren’t quite how Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein told it, but were a lot closer to that civility than today’s mess.
My life to them was ignorable, or at its worst—at my worst—an annoyance. I remember emerging from my…
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