All good intentions aside, E-me.
The official ruling came from Mike Vaccaro @MikeVacc of the New York Post, who was sitting directly behind me and immediately posted on Twitter:
“Score that E-@HarveyAraton”
Honestly, it happened so fast that I don’t even remember what exact inning it was or who was batting. It was early in the Yankees’ 7-2 victory, is all I know, and I was amazed and delighted that the computer – beyond the souvenir smudge – was unscathed and fully operational.
We in the sports writing business live in mortal fear of being short-circuited in the middle of a hot deadline event. But it invariably happens because, I tell you, it’s a jungle out there in the press box. When the Red Sox were here in Baltimore last season to complete their September death spiral someone knocked a cup of cold coffee onto my key board. The screen within seconds looked like some weird mathematical computation from the film adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel, “Contact,” starring Jodie Foster, before going completely dark.
Anyway, before I returned my full attention to rewriting the column I had already filed before the rain-delayed game to the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/08/sports/baseball/yankees-announcer-discusses-orioles-his-ex-team.html I recalled the last time I had come so close to a souvenir baseball at a major league game. It was only about 45 years ago, in 1965 or 66.
I was with a few of my teenage friends at Yankee Stadium – I mean, the very old Yankee Stadium – in the right-field bleachers, peering over a barrier and down into the Yankees’ bullpen. Hal Reniff, a portly right-handed reliever, was warming up when a ball popped off the mitt of the bullpen catcher and somehow sailed right to where my arms were dangling.
Unfortunately, I had a program in one hand, a pen I strangely imagined I would use to score autographs with in the other. I butchered the play and dropped the pen in the process. Reniff ignored my pleas to fetch it and toss it back.
That might have been the moment I realized I wasn’t going to be a major league ballplayer. But even with the inability to hold onto the most important piece of equipment for a journalist, I somehow managed to make it into the sports writing business.
Anyone out there have a good “ball” story?