Sunday, September 6, 2015

Cal's Streak

On this day twenty years ago, Cal Ripken broke Lou Gerhig's consecutive games streak at 2,131 games. That's quite an accomplishment. Everyone in the country who was a baseball fan was focused on it. But I wasnt. Life was different for me twenty years ago. Baseball brought so much joy to me growing up.
I think my mom got me into baseball as a way to keep my mind off the divorce my parents were going through. I feel in love with baseball instantly. I watched every game I could. (Oh how I miss the simplicity of two nationally televised games a week ABC's Monday Night Baseball and NBC's Saturday Game of the Week.) I also read the paper everyday to look at the box scores and stats. I clipped out every baseball picture in Sports Illustrated and put it on my wall. I was obsessed.
By the mid 1990's I didn't care anymore.
I suffered from depression. At the time I didn't realize it, but that's what it was.
The things that used to make me happy didn't anymore. I have no idea how it happened. Well, I do, but this isn't the place to talk about it. I do know I put unrealistic dreams in my head, I set unrealistic goals too. I was a dreamer living in Fantasyland. It's good to have goals and dreams, but I forgot to have a realistic backup plan. I didn't have a plan. I lived life as a lackadaisical young man when it was time to finally grow up.
Everyone was passing me by graduating college, getting engaged and married, starting a career, starting families. As for myself, I didn't know what I wanted to do. I guess I was in denial it was time to grow up and be a responsible adult.
But I didn't care. What does this have to do with Cal Ripken Jr you ask?
I guess it was watching my mom's dreams fall apart, baseball distracted me from how things were at home, and eventually when my dreams fell apart, I ran away from baseball because in a weird way baseball was part of my dreams.
I don't remember anything about baseball between 1994 and 1998. I watched, I read, I listened, but it was all background noise. I wasn't paying attention. I didn't care.
Now it's twenty years later. My depression faded away. I'm as happy and productive as I've ever been. Now that I have a clear mind, I can relive Cal's historic day. But I'll leave my miserable days in the past.

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