I never was much good at sports. Give me pen and paper and I’ll write a story. Give me a sheet of staff paper and I’ll compose a song. Give me a brush and canvas, and I’ll paint a scene.

But baseball? Or hockey? Not fun to watch because the ball and puck are too small.

Football and basketball are okay to see on television because I can follow the balls.

Back in high school my poor eyesight often caused me frustration, especially on the baseball field. When we chose up teams I was usually the last one picked, and when positions were assigned, I was sent to centre field because most balls were hit not there.

One sunny afternoon we played a game after school and I was out in centre field. The other team was batting.

I heard a crack and knew it had been a good hit. I could not see the ball and hoped it would not come my way.

Then I heard the shouts: “Catch it Irv!”

I ran toward where I thought the flyball would land, only to realize I had gone the wrong way.

Then I heard the laughter from the benches and grandstand. It sank in deep, into the hole in the ground that wasn’t there for me to hide in.

So my interest in sports waned thin, except for stories published in books about baseball greats like Joe DiMaggio, who was a great centre fielder, and Jackie Robinson, the first African American in Major League Baseball.

A few years ago I found at a used book sale a round book, shaped like a baseball, with close to 60 biographies of baseball superstars, fascinating tales written by America’s top baseball writers like Peter Gammons and Buster Olney, both writing award winners.

I gave it to my grandson. That was about five years ago.

Meanwhile, I found in life my second chance at romance by partnering up with Anne-Shirley Clough, who loves watching baseball games with her son Chris. They are avid Los Angeles Dodgers fans, Chris having worked for 21 years on movie sets in Hollywood.

So watching great games in which the Dodgers are mostly winners is fun with them.

Last week I asked my grandson Brendan Albo if I might borrow back the book I had given him.

“Of course,” he said.

I showed the book to a used book dealer with a question: “Is it a collector’s item?”

It’s not!.

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