brewers baseball and things

the color of wind


Both his legs were covered in red rashes, but only below his knees. There was a simple explanation. Donald Ringstern needed his socks jacked up as high as they could go.

He scraped shoes against shins; returning the white athletic elastics to their fully outstretched position. He did this every other step. He had no choice. Loose socks left him vulnerable and subject to the world and all its answers. Donald Ringstern needed to control the reigns of his chariot. He needed whims and wind. He needed life and uncertainty.

Donald’s parents fed his incurable appetite for new socks. They went shopping at the dollar store on the first Tuesday of every month. There was no single event that caused Donald’s condition, no split family household, no mother sleeping beside a Bourbon bottle, no father wielding a belt. There was just a mistrust in his heart towards a world that continuously murdered the unknown.

People watch a full moon known as a blue moon rises over the skyline of New York in in West Orange, New JerseySome said Donald suffered from acute sensitivity and instead of turning inward and a life of robotic solitude, he became brash and aggressive, complaining and pointing his finger at the strangest of situations.

Others blamed the cycles of the moon with its moods and shapes and shadows. Donald was no smiling sunshine; rising in the east and setting in the west; same trajectory day after day. He was lunar they argued. He was a dancing vital sign up and down the screen; no different from the shifting sky or earth beneath his feet; tectonic.

Psychiatrists were hired to sit with Donald and one after another threw up their arms in disgust. “His compass is cloudy,” they would say. “He reveals nothing.”

Donald resisted all attempts to be turned inside out, refusing to dig into his past. He kicked up his socks and waged war, but didn’t bother with the obvious stuff; the personality conflicts with co-workers, political bashing of the other side, traffic tickets, the evil government. That’s what the doctors wanted to hear, but Donald threw curve balls. He raised his sword against battles that could never be won.

“Chet Lemon was not a lemon. He was an African-American outfielder for the Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers. And Reggie Cleveland was not from Cleveland. He was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Diito for Daryl Boston; born in Cincinnati.” Donald went on and on like this for the entire 45 minute doctor sessions and before notes could be jotted onto clipboards, before patterns could be deciphered, Donald hit them with hope.

“But Pete Rose did have a tint of rose in his cheeks and Rusty Staub auburn colored hair that looked rusty in the right light.” It was a window of opportunity for doctors; a path to pursue, but it was slammed shut with anger. “Dick Green was definitely not green nor Vida Blue blue.”

These were just names of baseball players and Donald knew this, but he still took the opportunity to rant against language and with each rant, he yanked up his socks and the rash became redder.

“The word tree has nothing to do with an actual tree,” he would say. “It’s just a bunch of symbolic letters bunched together as words and over time agreed to represent a giant stem shooting up from buried roots and giving life to branches and bird houses, swings, and ultimately chainsaws and paper mills, Louisville Sluggers. And it rhymes with flee and bee and free and see?”

Doctors scratched their heads. Donald continued. “Words on paper or words sounded out loud spark a human heart; one way or the other; send a mind sizzling. It’s a miracle, but Chet Lemon who was no lemon; far from it, certainly not in 1979 when he hit .318 and reached base at a .391 clip.”

ed porray-wikipedia

ed porray-wikipedia

Doctors surrendered and the psychiatry world found no cure because there wasn’t one. Donald was free to delve deeper into what no one knows. He latched himself to Ed Porray; born in 1888-the the only major league baseball player with a birth place of “At sea, on the Atlantic Ocean.”

Donald latched himself to Leif McKinley; a former Boston Red Sox minor leaguer who died in 2002. Cause of death-“lost at sea.” Donald built runways for planes or spaceships that one day might land. And strangers in need of no answers joined Donald.


Author: Steve Myers

I grew up in Milwaukee and have been a Milwaukee Brewers baseball fan for as long as I can remember.

13 thoughts on “the color of wind

  1. Oil Weaver didn’t die in oil. (“Earl” is traditional Brooklynese for “oil”; his first name was pronounced “Oil” and not Earl in Brooklyn. Confused yet???). But he DID die while on a cruise. (And Oil Weaver didn’t die in Earl, either.) Which is more than what Vernon Cruise can say; not only did Vernon Cruise not die on a cruise, he died, allegedly, in Sylakauga, Alabama.

    And not only was Reggie Cleveland not from Cleveland, but he wasn’t even well-known in baseball circles for being born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Cleveland was discovered playing semi-pro baseball in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. How do I know this? I did a report on Saskatchewan in the 5th grade in Mrs. Manello’s social studies class, and being the baseball nut that I was, I always had to include information that I learned on 1970 baseball cards, which was the current card while I was in fifth grade, in my reports. Baseball was my whole life.

    Mrs. Manello always had us writing reports on far away places with strange sounding names. They’re calling, calling, me.

    Reggie Cleveland’s 1970 card that was stored in one of my baseball card shoe boxes. He was a “Rookie Star”:

    I don’t remember WHERE I found out that OTHER information about Reggie Cleveland, such as all that Moose Jaw stuff.

    (By the way, I knew a guy from Moose Jaw, and he sheepishly told me (he told me this in sheep language, which sounded like “B-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A, B-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A”) that the capital of Saskatchewan, which is Regina, isn’t pronounced to rhyme with “Regina” like in the well-known brand of vacuum cleaners. It actually rhymed with…….. Oh, never mind! (Residents of Saskatchewan always get a big laugh out of this, and I’m sure they do, because there must be SOMETHING to do in Saskatchewan.

    Also, when I did a book report on Monterrey, Mexico, I wrote how Hector Torres of the Houston Astros was from Monterrey, Mexico. I learned more from the backs of baseball cards back then than I learned anywhere else.

    Here’s Hector’s 1970 baseball card; how can this baby-faced infielder with the forlorn and sad eyes possibly be 68 years old now???????????????? Fifth grade seemed like the other day. I guess it WASN’T.

    As an indirect result of writing Mrs. Manello’s book reports, I became a big fan of both Reggie Cleveland and Hector Torres.

    Well, to cut to the chase, I enjoyed your post, Steve.


  2. “At sea, on the Atlantic Ocean.” Best official birthplace ever. By comparison, one of my kids was born in the back of an ambulance in a high school parking lot. Sort of the difference between Joe and Vince DiMaggio.

  3. Perhaps you’ve heard of these Frenchies, (Situationist International) perhaps not, I was intrigued by them in art school.

    • a bit too preachy for my tastes and a big bit over my head in terms of edubucation not to mention there’s no pictures, but the arrangement of the perpendicular sarcophagus under such wheat grass conditions causes one to wonder why more side lines are not filled with gatorade. In other words, thank you.

      • that what Hemingway said. (barf)

        • I’ll have to take your word for it Professor. The only Hemingway book I ever read was Old Man and the Sea. It was a requirement in fifth grade and took me forever to read, but then again, it takes me forever to read any book. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go watch Big Bang Theory.

  4. Ha Ha! It’s mostly a bunch of nonsense! My point is…isn’t it all!? Your post was PERFECT…you understood. Jesus, man, If I didn’t live about a billion miles away from you we would be drinking scotch and bullshitting about god knows what. Probably end up with a fistfight and a record listening of, well, this,

    • Well, I avoid the scotch these days, maybe one beer on the weekend, if that. Drinking was always a loner activity for me and kind of ran out of track. And I was never much of a fist fighter. But maybe we could catch a baseball game. That’s about the extent of my social life. The rest is just killing time; work, watching TV and writing. But I agree. It is all pretty much nonsense.

  5. “But Pete Rose did have a tint of rose in his cheeks and Rusty Staub auburn colored hair that looked rusty in the right light.” It was a window of opportunity for doctors; a path to pursue, but it was slammed shut with anger. “Dick Green was definitely not green nor Vida Blue blue.”

    Yes, and as my aging mother recently reminded me, “The grass is always greener when you’re outside.”

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