Thursday, August 13, 2015

A World Without Mickey Mantle

Twenty years ago Mickey Mantle passed away. At the time I was 23, just a young kid who had no idea about life.
I remember it being big news that day. A lot of Baby Boomers expressed sadness that day. It really effected a lot men who were middle aged, guys as old as I am now.
At the time, I didn't understand as to why it was such a big deal. Yes he was an iconic baseball player, but he was just a baseball player. Twenty years later, I understand.
Life is sweet. Life is short. I'm in middle age now. I've had loved ones I took for granted pass away. Life is moving so fast. Sometimes I think of my childhood and wish for simpler times. I was a child one day collecting baseball cards, watching as much baseball as I could. I read about baseball as much as possible. My biggest worries back them were finishing my homework, what was on TV and what was for dinner.
Now I'm 43 with a lot of responsibilities. I'm not married and I have no kids, but I feel like I have a lot on my plate.
But I think back to being a kid. But I can't go back.
Let's go back twenty years ago when I was questioning the significance of Mantle's death. Those 40-50 year old men were effected because a part of their childhood died that day. They experienced mortality too. Now those men are in their 70's or 80's. I can't imagine what will happen to me when I'm that age. I hope life will be kind to me.
But someday when my favorite baseball player ever passes away, Steve Garvey, I will know how those men felt when Mantle passed away.
Sometimes I think if Mantle had taken better care of himself, he could have played longer, and possibly lived longer.
I wonder what he would think of baseball nowadays. I'm sure he would be one of those guys who say, "Back in my day we were better, the game was better."
Things were always better when you're younger.
With each passing day, I appreciate what I had when I was younger. I wish I could go back to twenty years ago today and appreciate how much a generation appreciated The Mick.

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