Sunday, July 5, 2009


I was awakened this morning by the ping of an aluminum bat. At 730 the little leaguers still alive in the Nipper Maher Park July 4th tournament were practicing their cuts in anticipation of an 8 a.m. game. I tried to sleep but after an hour's worth of fitful snoozing, the bats and the chatter were victorious. I decided to make some coffee and join the crew.

By the time I had a coffee cup in hand and walked to the field it was already the bottom of the 6th, the last inning in a little league game. Just as I arrived at the diamond a player from Winchester slapped a single over third, and to the dismay of the crew from Sydney Nova Scotia, Winchester tallied a third run defeating Sydney 3-2. The group from Sydney having made the marathon seventeen hour trek to participate in the tournament, hung their shoulders as they slumped off the field and then stood classily but dejected along the first base line to receive acknowledgements from tournament officials. The jubilant squad from Winchester had survived to play another game later in the afternoon. It was the boys and girls from Sydney, however, for whom I felt compassion. Necks bowed, they had been eliminated by a walk off single after a long battle.

I returned home and set the tube up on the deck to watch what became a Federer-Roddick Wimbledon marathon match. Four hours later, Andy Roddick who had served impeccably for four straight hours, miss-hit a ground stroke at 14-15 in the fifth set allowing Roger Federer to win his 15th grand slam tournament. Federer was jubilant. Roddick who had held serve every single game until the 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14 concluding game, sat slumped in his chair as Federer tastefully accepted the applause from the crowd.

The difference between Roddick's reaction and the 12 year old kids' from Sydney. Not a thing.

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