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ing the good fortune to work in such an uplifting environment. The entire scene surely has a positive effect on the players and their families.
Take me out to the ball game, Take me out with the crowd, Buy me some popcorn, Peanuts and Crackerjack I don’t care if we never get back.
When Jack Norworth composed those lyrics back in 1908, he had never seen a big-league game. It probably would boggle his mind if he had been told that those lyrics would stand the test of time. Now we sing those lyrics with the greatest of fervor during the seventh inning stretch of games all across America. I remember sitting in the late Harry Caray’s booth for a double header at Wrigley Field several years ago. Skip, his son, made the arrangements. It was a delightful experience, but Harry made sure that when the 7th inning stretch came about in each game that I did not sing. That was fine with me since I can’t sing.
Remembering Harry allows for going off script. He shared with me, over a drink afterwards, his story about having been twice divorced. He recalled that he was writing alimony checks at the ballpark one day.
To one of the checks, he attached a note, “Just how much longer is this going to go on?” A few days later came her pungent reply, “Dear Harry. Till death do us part.”
I thought of that vignette when the 7th inning stretch came up Sunday night at Truist Park. As I flashed back to Harry singing baseball’s time-honored anthem in my mind’s eye, I gave a thumbs up to his grandson Chip, who was calling the game on television in the press box. By the way, I did sing Sunday night. I was downright happy, too.
While I have always made my living in football, I find the baseball experience great fun and thought it was classic that the two most popular teams in the state—the Braves and the Dawgs— won championships last year.
Heading home after the sweep, I had a recurring thought. An off night in Columbia does not mean that the Bulldogs have lost their thunder, but as it is with the Braves, needing one more win for a clinching victory, nothing is guaranteed. You have to make it happen.