(Originally published prior to the “Free The Birds” walkout in Sept. 2006, this is Part 1 of a 19 Chapter Series on how my Pop, baseball and the Orioles berthed WNST.net.).
When I first started getting that urge during the All-Star break that maybe we should try to storm the castle that is The Warehouse and attempt to overthrow the King — again it was a well-documented email from a guy who said that even the Berlin Wall fell because people like us made it fall that started this whole thing — I started to do some serious soul-searching.
About my life, and what it’s become. And where I’m going. And what’s important. And really what makes a fool like me tick. Maybe, like Dudley Moore’s character in the movie “10,” I’m having my “mid-life” crisis at 38, who knows?
But when you’ve been talking to and with people for four hours a day, five days a week, every day for almost 14 years about basically the one civic thing we all have in common besides taxes — SPORTS — and, no less, for a completely wide open audience of anyone who cares to eves drop on your life, and then, poof, you just disappear for 18 months — believe it or not, you find that you talk “to” and “with” yourself a LOT.
And — after much deep and very sincere self-analysis — I’m here to tell you that for me, personally, I’ve concluded that every single good thing or worthwhile pursuit in my life came directly because of or through my lifelong passion for baseball and the Orioles.
I’m going to say that again, because for all intents and purposes, this is the thesis of my mid-life term paper that will be The Moon or some future book title over the next month and why I’ve been in mall parking lots handing out little orange cards and behaving more like a very revved-up version of Marty O’Malley meets Bob Ehrlich meets Howard Beale from the movie “Network:” EVERY SINGLE GREAT THING IN MY LIFE CAME BECAUSE I LOVED BASEBALL AND THE ORIOLES AS A CHILD!
Now, I know what you’re saying right now. You’re saying, “Nestor’s done gone and lost his mind.” It’s only about the 10th time in my life that I’ve been told that by most everyone around me.
But I can prove it to you. And I will, if you follow the orange brick road with me!
You know those points in your life that you come to where there’s a giant Y in the road and you have two directions you could potentially go in and you hope to God you pick the right road. Every time in my life that these events have transpired, in some way, baseball has been the backdrop, the calendar of my life, really.
I can tell you where I was living, who I was dating, where I was working and how I was feeling based on what two teams were in the World Series that fall.
Swear to God!
And those lessons I learned on my first day of “tee ball” about teamwork, and communicating and preparing and practicing and playing fair and experiencing winning and losing, and doing my best, sacrificing, and respecting the game