Clothed in baseball

caps 6-11.jpgSince I write solo in my Baltimore home office without an editor, I often ask a fellow freelance writer, Nancy, to review my stories before I submit them to YESNetwork.com.  

So when Nancy read a story I had written titled “Clothed in baseball,” she admitted she didn’t like it – the story was weak.

Nancy knows.

The idea had evolved during a week when one Mrs. Singy was a tad “dry” for a topic. So instead I tackled the laundry. (Thrilling. Proof of a real case of writer’s block). After padding barefooted around the house putting away clean clothes predominantly stamped with the “NY” logo, I wrote about how us Singletons could open a New York Yankees store with all the baseballs on our clothes.

It went something like this:

… hats, socks, sweatshirts, knit caps, windbreakers, workout clothes, basketball shorts, winter coats, robes and T-shirts – oh so many T-shirts! Long-sleeved, short-sleeved, no sleeves. There’s even a pair of “NY” underwear at the bottom of the laundry basket (whom they belong to, I’ll never tell). The kitchen drawer holds a neatly folded NY Yankees pinstriped apron (which Ken should wear when he grills to avoid barbeque sauce splattering on his favorite YES T-shirt).

Our shirts are screened with “Property of YES NETWORK” … “Why New York is better than New York: We never traded Nolan Ryan” … “My Yankees Baseball” … “YES HD” … and various players’ names and numbers white-on-navy across the backs.

I continued the tale about how these New York-based clothes have long since replaced logos of other baseball jobs Ken has held; shirts and jackets boasting MSG Network, FOX, Montreal Expos and The Sports Network in Canada. Way before that we wore a plethora of orange and black Baltimore Orioles garments.

When Nancy had suggested to spice up the subject by maybe tying the T-shirts to memories, still I had nothing more to add. After all, Ken constantly brings home baseball stuff, so there is not much nostalgia there since we have lived and breathed the sport for a few decades. (“Baseball Is Life” is the most significant T-shirt in the pile.)

Nope, there wasn’t even much to reminisce about that pair of NY underwear other than that they were purchased in a Cooperstown gift shop during a pleasant family trip to Induction Weekend. (Okay they’re mine – happy now?)

Enough about baseball clothes; Nancy warned you it was weak.

Then I read a comment on the Mrs. Singy column from a Yankee fan who knew how to attach true feeling to a New York Yankees garment (see May 2010 – Life needs Diversions), putting my dim words to shame had I decided to post that feeble story.

This fan’s anecdote was about how Yankees baseball pulled him through cancer. “It was like being in a safe environment for a few hours,” he wrote. “One that made me forget, even for the shortest of times, that I was sick or in pain.”

When this fan lost his hair during three rounds of chemo, he purchased a new NY cap that he will “never get rid of. It’s worn heavily, but I can’t discard a cap that did so much for me.”

And he said he feels the same way about the entire Yankees franchise – a team that helped him greatly through a tough time, providing a distraction from ill health. Luckily, remission has been his friend since December 2007.

Now my collection of colorful NYY caps has meaning. As I donned the canary-yellow one to wear while walking the dog today, I recalled this fan’s bittersweet story – how a simple item like a baseball cap can evolve into such sweet significance for an ordinary baseball fan.

2 Comments

Apparently Nancy isn’t a huge Yankees fan! Or any sport for that matter. See, your topic certainly was NOT weak … at least not to those of us, like you, whose wardrobe is predominately Yankees oriented (and yes, I have Yankee boxers also LOL)! Some of mine have particular meaning (for example, my lucky A-Rod shirt that has been since worn by just about every member of my family & friends); others not as much. But they share one bit of major importance, they tell the world I’m a member of an exclusive club … the 27 World Champion Family! I’m sure that there are many fans who would enjoy knowing you & your family are just like us!!

Hi Mrs. Singy,

I just wanted to tell you what a great guy you are married to (as if you didn’t already know that). Kenny and I grew up, went to school together and played ball in Mt. Vernon. I recently retired and and moved back to the Phoenix area and attempted to re-connect with Ken when he was in town with the Yankees this week. Unfortuantely, we couldn’t get together but we did manage to talk on the phone and reminesce about our very happy childhood days and all the homeruns he hit off me as a youth. Even as a young boy, Kenny was always a class act and good kid who came from a very nice home. Hopefully, the next time you’re out this way, we can all get together and stir up some more memories.

Take care!

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