Mood: on fire
Topic: "Old Time Baseball"(9)
Willie Tasby played centerfield for the Washington Senators, not Nationals, fifty years ago. He wasn't great, nor was he a true bum, but on a team that truly sucked, he was Frodo's favorite player. He was only the second Negro to play for what was then the southernmost team in all of major league baseball.
Tasby won Frodo's heart on that summer day when the thounder clouds hung heavily over the hot city streets. When the clashes of thunder were brightened by streaks of lightning, Frodo remembers as if it were yesterday when the radio announcer suddenly took note of the fact that Tasby was no longer in attendance. The Senators, as noted above, were not very good from the get-go, but it was ridiculous that they initiate a game with no player in center field. Tasby, it seemed, was wearing metal spikes on his shoes, as was the custom in those days, and he was afraid that he was too apparent a target for a lightning strike all alone in the wide open spaces between left and right fields. Tasby sought shelter beneath the stands and refused to come out on the field amidst the inclement weather. Like everyone else, Frodo laughed.
Frodo stopped laughing when it was disclosed that on another day, in another stadium, Willie Tasby watched as the player next to him was struck by lightning.
A half-century later, Frodo remembers his derisive laughter, and it shames him. Mr. Tasby, if you are still out there, Frodo apologizes, and he casts his lone vote to the appropriate officials in Cooperstown for the enshrinement of one player who did not suck.