The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Adventures in the National Pastime #5

Original Caption:

Atlanta -- Braves star Hank Aaron shakes hands with former New York Yankee slugger Roger Maris prior to the Mets-Braves game. Maris set a Major League record in 1961 with 61 home runs. Aaron is 17 homers from tying Babe Ruth's home run record of 714. (1974)


Vanwall said...

Two of the best, and nicest, at their, at their art - the real greats, in any sport, have abilities beyond our levels, almost magical. These two were bound by the common thread of vituperative responses to their art - two better men were never slandered as nastily for their affront, the ability to hit a round ball with a round bat better than the a large man with quick wrists named "Babe". Had they been able to pitch as well as Ruth did at one point in his career, they might've been candidates for the best ever, period, and many would say so anyway, altho Joltin' Joe, Teddy Ballgame, and the Say Hey Kid could would prolly differ.

Fred said...

Not to be too persnickety, but the date or caption on the photo must be wrong. Aaron finished the '73 season with 713 homers, one shy of tying the Babe. So either the date is 1973 or it should say "Aaron is one homer from tying Babe Ruth's home run record of 714." And I have to agree with vanwall. Aaron is one of the finest gentlemen to play major league baseball. I have an authographed photo of Aaron breaking Ruth's record on the wall of my office. He was one of the most gracious sports figures I ever had the pleasure to meet.

Vanwall said...

Anyone interested in classy ballplayers should check out Andy Strasberg's Maris story - the best!