there have been many baseball suicides over the years.
Jeremy Giambi is the most recent, this past February, gun shot wound to the head. The variety of methods is plentiful, from Dude Esterbrook leaping from a train window on the way to Middletown State Asylum to Pea Ridge Day slitting his throat with a hunting knife. Bert Hall hung himself. Fred Bratschi ingested battery acid and on and on goes the sad, tragic list.
One method not listed is Curiosity Over What’s Next. This gets me me thinking about one Hermie Snorek, the 62-year old newspaper delivery man who always wanted to catch a foul ball or a fair ball if he happened to be sitting in the bleachers. Let’s say he was a fan of the Minnesota Twins. He attended games at Metropolitan Stadium, then the Metrodome, and more recently Target Field. He watched Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Rod Carew, Kirby Pucket, and Miguel Sano and through all the years, he never once caught a foul ball though there was that one time, seated in the upper deck, 1977, Carew flirting with .400, a ball came up there and there weren’t too many fans, a chase ensued, but Hermie had a bum knee and lost the race.
Hermie had no wife or kids and well, the call from the other side, if there is another side became very welcoming, like a tent with a hookah and a band of pilgrims welcoming him in. Hermie had a knack for inventing things like take the mini waterfall in his basement. He rigged up a contraption enabling him to trap energy from the waterfall in a tube, plug the tube into a hot plate to boil water and presto he could cook up a cup of rice and he did just that and mixed in a can of sardines and well, protein galore. Life was good, really good. He had season tickets to Twins games, but that foul/fair ball still eluded his hungry hands….then, an idea launched in Hermie’s mind and since he had nothing else to do, other than deliver his morning papers, he mixed this into that and that into this. He worked all hours of the night and he wasn’t alone.
There were mice in the house, in the basement, where he worked so he caught them with a butterfly net and used them in his experiments. A Twins season passed and then another and still no results, but then one year, he discovered the right ingredients…a liquid, a simple liquid rubbed on the mice’s toes and he achieved his objective. It was time to try it out on himself and as luck or destiny would have it…. one cool, April afternoon at Target field, a ball hovered above the section where Hermie was sitting and up went his hands coated with that magic liquid he had brewed and down came that ball and though he didn’t catch it (the ball popped out), his flesh had made contact with the ball and he vanished into thin air. Hermie passed on doing what he loved, watching baseball, his dream of catching a baseball almost realized and for the few fans in his same section that witnessed the vanishing, well, Hermie Snorek lived on, forever in their minds, as first and foremost, a diehard Twins fan.