Counting His Blessings
Good Morning (or whenever you’re reading this, I just happen to be writing it in the morning) from South Bend’s Coveleski Stadium, and the visiting radio booth that used to be the home radio booth that used to be the groundskeeper’s office. Or something like that. There have been a lot of renovations here lately. More on the renovations in the visiting clubhouse in a moment. But first, a serious note.
This is the last I hope to write about the events of the Boston Marathon in this space, but I wanted to share with you something that I learned yesterday in my chat with TinCaps infielder Maxx Tissenbaum. Our conversation taught me, as other instances have through my life, that this world is a smaller place than we know.
Maxx, who enjoyed a day off with the team on Monday, has a younger sister named Molly, who is a freshman at Harvard. Like Maxx, Molly is an athlete. She competes on Harvard’s women’s hockey team. And so on Monday afternoon, Maxx told me, Molly decided to go check out the happenings of the day in Boston.
“Her and a bunch of her hockey teammates went to the marathon. They got separated on the subways right before it happened and they ended up right by the finish line,” Max told me during our chat in the visitor’s dugout in South Bend. “If it wasn’t for two of them saying, ‘You know what, we should probably go back and try and meet people,’ they would’ve stayed there and been right where it happened. (Monday) night was a little uneasy for me with everything still being so fresh, but I’m glad the decision they made obviously, and you come out today and it’s great to play ball, but you’ve got to definitely keep the people in mind that have lost people and have had all those injuries.”
There are few feelings in life where one feels more helpless than in a situation where nothing can be done to help. You’re hundreds of miles away, but feel like the distance is light years. According to Maxx, Molly almost ended up playing hockey at Syracuse University. She also had the option to play softball at his alma mater, Stony Brook University. If she goes to either of those schools, Maxx never has that surge of panic on Monday.
“She had texted me (earlier that day) saying that her and a bunch of her friends were going to the marathon. Then I heard about (the explosions) and was scrolling through my phone, and I immediately sent her a text saying, “Are you OK? Are you there or are you somewhere else along the road?” She got back to me really quickly which was nice and reassuring to know that she wasn’t right there,” Maxx said.
Like baseball players are always one injury away from their career being altered, we’re all only one moment away from our lives being changed. Enjoy what you’ve got while you’ve got it.
Here is my full conversation with Maxx Tissenbaum:
During this past off-season, the South Bend Silver Hawks decided to take a page out of the Hayden Fry book of locker room decorating and turn their visiting locker room pink. Fry, a former football coach at the University of Iowa, implemented the locker room decor in an attempt to play mind games with opposing teams. Fry once wrote, “When I talk to an opposing coach before a game and he mentions the pink walls, I know I’ve got him. I can’t recall a coach who has stirred up a fuss about the color and then beat us.”
“The idea came from our owner, Andrew Berlin,” Hart went on to write. “[It] just came from wanting to be a little different and give people something fun to talk about. I know the University of Iowa did it years ago to the visiting locker room for football and we had just never heard of it being done for baseball.”
Well, here it is, folks:
Yes, even the ticket list on the tackboard is pink.
Walking into the clubhouse with the players yesterday, none of them seemed to be all to fazed by it. It got more of a curiously-raised eyebrow look than anything else from most guys.
Hope you’ll join me and Mike Maahs for the radio broadcast today. We’ll be on the air at 12:45, with first pitch at 1:05. I’ll chat pre-game with Padres pitching coordinator Mike Cather. You can listen at TheFanFortWayne.com.
Audioslave…take it away!