The Mission Rotary club has its breakfast meeting at the double play restaurant and bar across from the site of the old Seals Stadium at 7 AM. The TV in the bar showed the planes flying into the World Trade Towers. It was surreal; I thought it was a movie
There was a planned trip to New York that I was resistant to. I don’t enjoy being strapped to a seat in tin can loaded with jet fuel for an extended period of time. Leonard Cohen canceled his scheduled concert because of the terrorist attacks. Suddenly I felt compelled to fly to New York.
The cab dropped me off on Broad Street. I found a Puerto Rican diner that had good chicken soup and strong coffee with condensed milk. A friend gave me a ticket to see Cal Ripken’s last game at Yankee Stadium.
The subway stations were surrounded with sandbags, military jeeps, trucks and personnel carriers. There were soldiers guarding the entrance to the subways with automatic weapons, Flak jackets helmets and a nervous look on their faces. I decided that if they were nervous that I should be nervous. As I went down the stairs into the subway I began profiling every lone male with a backpack as a potential terrorist.
There had been a light rain and I brought an umbrella. It was confiscated when I entered the stadium. I went past the concessions without stopping and scurried quickly to my row and slid into my seat. It felt like I had stepped back in time and could envision Babe Ruth stepping onto the field.
A vendor came by selling beer. I asked for a Budweiser. He said with a bass in his voice “Budweiser, we don’t sell Budweiser here. You’re not from around here are you” The people in my section began to laugh. I was safe.
The next day I went to the tenement Museum and walk through the different neighborhoods. Vinny Vella showed me where the apartment that Martin Scorsese grew up in and I understood why Scorsese mastered shadows.
People had left flowers, reefs and candles at the fire houses. There were some fire houses that had lost whole crews. It changed my thoughts about the meaning of what is civil service. It changed my thoughts about life.
Kennedy’s pub in North Beach has 100 different beers including Budweiser. I heard a bird on a wire and left my Bud on the bar, walked into the foggy night and remembered what it was like to be a Yankees fan for a day.
This morning I walked outside and I thought about how on September 11 so many people gave their lives to save life.
I won’t forget.
Regarding the designated hitter:
The American League believes in the Black Swan Theory. If they can hit then they can’t pitch. If they can pitch then they can’t hit.
The Giants have a Black Swan at McCovey Cove:
Madison Bumbgarner 2015 (17-7) ERA 3.05; 5 HR; 9 RBI AVG 258
Babe Ruth was an American League pitcher who could hit.
Babe Ruth 1915 (18 – 8) ERA 2.44; 4 HR; 21 RBI AVG 315
In 1915 the American League did not have a designated hitter