Since 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.
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.