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Michael Pacholek

This recollection reminded me of my own grandfather, who grew up in The Bronx, and could walk down the street and watch them build the first Yankee Stadium. He saw Babe Ruth before Lou Gehrig. Half a century later, he got me hooked as a Yankee fan, but it took him 10 years to die from smoking, and as a result he never saw the renovated Stadium except on TV.

For years, I planned to be at the Stadium for his centennial, hoping the Yankees would be at home. When the 2006 schedule came I out, I saw that they were, and against a team he would have recognized -- your Tigers. I was relieved: Everything was working out.

Until the ninth inning. Joe Torre had used Mariano Rivera three nights in a row, and didn't want to use him again. So he used Scott Proctor as a closer, and I said, "Uh-oh." He got to one strike away, and Craig Monroe hit one halfway to Yonkers. The Yankees went down meekly in the bottom of the ninth, and the Tigers won. I never heard my Grandpa use profanity, so I spent the subway ride back to Port Authority Bus Terminal wondering what he would say. I know what I said: "Proctor, yer a bum!"

I don't know if there are victory cigars or nice drinks in heaven, but, if there are, your grandfather would've been justified in having them that night. Mine would've been in too bad a mood.

Christopher Earley


I have been bouncing around your blog whenever I have to take a break from work and I have loved every bit of it. It is so great you got to interview Bouton. The cemetery story in Chicago was so great - I loved the rundown of all the little things that had to happen for that "coincidence" and I told my wife that I want to find a walnut cracker like the one she left you. This tribute to your grandfather is my favorite so far. I loved the way you put that he visits you in dreams sometimes. It made me really happy to think of you making the all day red gravy, the presence of him still around. I think of my grandma in that way in similar circumstances. Anyway, as I wait patiently for the Munson/Blomberg book, I can't believe the wealth of joy at my fingertips with your blog. Thank you.

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