Adventure time!

Our father-daughter Spring Break/Spring Training adventure can’t happen fast enough.

We greet the dawn snow-and-ice-bound this morning, she in sub-zero Illinois, me surrounded by a record (for this date in Nashville) snowfall. But in our minds we’re already there, a stone’s throw from the best Grapefruit League venue ever (Al Lang Stadium) and short drives from next week’s games in Clearwater (Tigers-Phil), Tampa (Red Sox-Yanks), Bradenton (Sox-Bucs), and Dunedin (O’s-Jays). So, my topic for next month’s 20th annual Baseball in Literature and Culture conference at my school is inevitable: Spring Training and the Perennial Renewal of Life.

Speaking of Blue Jays, I hope we see one in particular before our Friday return flight. He’s the most interesting pitching prospect since Sidd Finch. If it were April 1 I’d be sure the late George Plimpton wrote this:
Daniel Norris (“The Van Man”) has a consistent 92-mile-an-hour fastball, a $2 million signing bonus, a deal with Nike and a growing fan club, yet he has decided the best way to prepare for the grind of a 162-game season is to live here, in the back of a 1978 Westfalia camper he purchased for $10,000. The van is his escape from the pressures of the major leagues, his way of dropping off the grid before a season in which his every movement will be measured, catalogued and analyzed.
If a baseball life requires notoriety, the van offers seclusion.
If pitching demands repetition and exactitude, the van promises freedom.
“It’s like a yin-and-yang thing for me,” he says. “I’m not going to change who I am just because people think it’s weird. The only way I’m going to have a great season is by starting out happy and balanced and continuing to be me. It might be unconventional, but to feel good about life I need to have some adventure.”


We need to have some adventure too, Older Daughter and I. We need to get out of this deep freeze and into the sunshine. Vamanos!

via Blogger


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