In 1969, I received, second-hand, the prize for Player of the Game. Every year, after the game ended, the players, all dirt- and dust-covered, would repair to Leif Hope’s Laundry restaurant for cold beer and good times. There, Leif would announce the “Player of the Game.” I don’t remember who it was that won player of the game that year but it wasn’t me. I wasn’t good enough to have won it. Also, I was a rookie for the writers.
At the end of that party, Leif told me the guy who won had not shown up, and they had a jeroboam of white wine they had intended to give him. Would I take it? I did. It was an enormous bottle, maybe five gallons. I dragged it home. It was a good month before I had a party at my house large enough to crack open the jeroboam and finish it. The “Player of the Game” award, I told people. The following year I got traded to the Artists. I objected. Gallery owner Elaine Benson insisted. So I went. The next year, I became the balls-and-strikes umpire behind the pitcher’s mound. I’ve been doing that to this day.
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