I never would have felt the aches and pains of my 47-year-old body dissolve into dust with every cleat I put in the dirt. I wouldn’t have discovered my aching right arm suddenly becoming strong again as I reached back into time and space, gripping down hard on the laces of 1977, before slinging a fastball into 2012.
Before we knew it, it was over. Nothing ever ends the way it should, but on a ball diamond in Cooperstown, N.Y. during the second week of August, our season did. It was the perfect place for an imperfect ending. With one swing of the bat, the birthplace of baseball turned into a graveyard for lost youth as my childhood came crashing down. My son’s landed right along with it.
My arm is aching again and the wrinkles in the mirror have returned. My summer is done. My childhood is over once more ... this time forever.