June 8th, 1997
and, while I, was Away
( He, was Home )
He played the last eight games with all the passion his heart was capable of, finishing the season with a .560 batting average, 8 home runs ( two in a game, twice ), and 42 r.b.i.s . . .
the infield saw his practiced grace keep the hits from ever seeing the outfield grass, and more than a few of his assists turned into double-plays, making second base a foolish place to hit a ball . . .
the St. Lucie National Little League, St. Louis Cardinals, won the League Championship (21/7), advancing to the StrongTeam Finals, and lost in the 3rd Round with a 4-2 standing . . . by all accounts, it was a good season, and a lot of young boys became young men right before our eyes that year . . .
another trophy will take its place on an already crowded shelf, as a shiny and gold phalanx of still-life icons parade across the diamonds of his bedroom, of the fields of his dreams, and of his once-and-still-glorious paths, of summer . . .
his focus, his dedication, his ability, and his love of the game have elevated all who come to watch him play, for one cannot help but sense a kind of natural presence when he walks on a field . . .
and his quietly amazing talents, when fused with the sheer fervency of his youth, become the magic of all he will ever aspire to be . . .
and, in two weeks . . . the All-Stars . . .
from The Voyage of Kings – The Ring – The Sixth DoveTale – The Grace of Swans