May 5, 2021 –
I attended my first professional baseball game 70 years ago. It was a spring training game in Tampa, FL. My dad took my brother and me to see the New York Yankees and whoever they played that day. As a kid, I loved Baseball, mostly the Yankees, who dominated the 50s.
We purchased our tickets and excitedly walked up the ramp to enter the stadium, expecting to see the Yankee “GIANTS.” Surprise! I saw weren’t super giant heroes but what I saw were normal men; men with two arms and two hands, two legs with feet, men in pinstriped baseball suits — and they were small. I had a major disappointment in the Bronx Bombers. What I expected to see wasn’t what I saw.
I saw Mantle, Rizzuto, Stengel, Berra, and Joe DiMaggio. That day I had the experience of seeing Mickey Mantle bat from both sides of the plate, do his famous drag bunt, but no home runs.
Mel Allen, the play-by-play announcer for the Yankees, was perched atop a light pole on a small platform, no bigger than two wooden pallets broadcasting the game. Allen was one of the most recognizable voices in radio broadcasting. The scene I saw was disappointing, not what I expected.
The goal of expectations is to experience what you expect. I don’t recall which team won; I have a vivid memory of expecting to see “giants” and seeing normal men playing Baseball. Forget expectations. Live the moment. Nothing happens next. You’re already there. As Buddha said, “Be where you are; otherwise, you will miss your life.”