I love it when synchronicity strikes in my life.
Baseball, childhood dreams, and the 4th of July.
There is nothing more American than that.
Today, the 4th of July, baseball, and childhood dreams all collided in my life.
And made me proud.
I love baseball.
Most people wouldn’t believe it is my first passion.
I miss baseball, especially youth baseball.
I miss coaching budding youth players, seeing them grow.
I miss making up a batting order, deciding who was going to pitch that day, seeing players take the extra base, and execute game plans to near perfection.
I really miss baseball.
So much so, that I’ve read six books in the last month about a ballplayer’s journey in the sport.
I just finished, “The Wax Pack,” by Brad Balukjian.
I loved it.
The premise of the book is that the author decides to buy an unopened pack of 1975 Topps Baseball cards and then embark on a quest to find each one of the players in the pack and interview them.
To see how their life turned out after baseball.
The pack had an assortment of players, from the nondescript role player to future Hall of Famers.
The surprise of the book was the degree of happiness of each of the players in the pack was not linked to the success that they had on the diamond, it was linked to their gratitude toward life and their family life.
Some players had some parts that made up a great life, some had none.
Few had them all.
It was a great read.
I absolutely loved the book.
How could I not? I love to read, I love baseball, I loved opening up packs of baseball cards as a kid, I love learning the background story in people’s lives, I love the big picture.
It was an amazing read.
The 4th of July in one of my lifetimes ago, was always big Tournament Baseball weekend.
10 games (I coached 2 teams) over 3 days in the blazing summer sun.
It was always an awesome time.
Today, 14 years after coaching my final game in baseball, one day after finishing “The Wax Pack,” and on the 4th of July 2020, I woke up to a text message containing this picture of a newly minted Topps Baseball card.
The only thing more exciting than opening up a pack of baseball cards is to open up a pack of cards and pull the one player you knew whose childhood dream came true.
Congratulations Justin, Ed , Donna and Ryan Dunn.
One day in the future, if an author opens up a new pack of 2020 Topps baseball cards and decides to go on a quest to meet all the players inside, I hope he pulls your card.
As I know you will be able to give him what he is seeking as to what makes up a great life.
Gratitude and family.
I know you have both.