i don’t know why i liked harold baines.
he began his MLB career with the chicago white sox.
i lived in milwaukee and rooted for the brewers.
brewer fans and white sox fans sometimes brawled and yet,
I liked Harold.
the white sox games were on channel 32 WFLD.
i watched Harold’s name on the scoreboard at comiskey park.
it was broken up into syllables.
a ball bounced above each syllable.
fans responded by singing,
a friend of mine called Harold “fish face” and yet,
i liked Harold.
I met Harold in spring training.
he signed a ball for me,
but never cracked a smile, never even looked at me.
he was talking to a man dressed in a suit with a beard but no mustache.
i remember it being very strange.
i had never seen Amish people on a baseball diamond.
i had never seen Amish people at all.
looking back now,
there was great variety in that.
reporters called Harold the dullest interview of all time
and it’s true he was more placid than a peaceful lake.
shortstop Ozzy Guillen said he drove Harold up to milwaukee
and the only words Harold said the entire trip were at the very end
“thank you” and yet,
i liked Harold.
he hit a lot doubles – 488.
that tied him with Mel Ott and Jeff Bagwell for 73rd all time,
he hit a lot of home runs – 384 including 13 grand slams and 10 walk-off blasts. i watched one on tv.
it was against the Brewers.
it was the longest game in baseball history-25 innings.
Harold hit it off the Brewer’s Chuck Porter.
on the back of his 1981 Topps baseball card,
“was first noticed by white sox as a 12-year-old playing little league ball.”
maybe that’s why I liked him?
since i was 12 when I first held that card in my hand….
I later learned that Charlie Lau worked with Harold.
i knew Lau from the movie Max Dougan Returns.
i loved that movie.
so maybe that was it?
maybe that’s why i liked Harold?