Dave really surprised me. I just didn’t get him as a writer. I’ve known him for 5 years now. He’s my left-fielder. He’s that rare combination, like my son, of a guy who throws left but bats right. It’s much more common to see it the other way around – someone throws right-handed but bats from the left side.
On the ballfield, Dave is a quiet warrior, demanding excellence in battle from himself, and expecting it from others, as well. Not vocally. But you can feel his expectation from way out there in left field. Every fiber of his being is present, engaged in the moment, battling, his desire to win palpable.
I usually place him near the top of the lineup, not so much for his ability to get on base more often than not, which he does, but for the energy he brings to the table. He sets a tone that, on good nights, the rest of us pick up on. A spark plug. He battles…grinds. Defies.
We were sitting in the dugout in Game 4 of the Early Bird Tournament. Just chatting - chewing gum, spitting, keeping book (scorebook). “What ya been up to lately, Pete?”
“Ah, you know, little bit a this, little bit a that. Been doing a lot of writing lately.”
“Yeah, my executive coach’s husband mentioned to her about this on-line story-tellers community, called “Cowbird”, of all things! Anyway, she mentioned it to me – and it has really gotten my writing back on track. There's all kinds of cool writers from all over the world, and you read their stuff, they read yours, and there's a connection kind of thing."
“That sounds cool – I used to belong to something like that.”
“Yeah, I’ve done a lot of poetry, and short stories”
“Get out – I never woulda figured you for a poet, Dave. You still write?”
“Not as much as I’d like to – but, yeah, I still like to do it.”
Shared the same dugout for 5 years. Down in the trenches, fighting the foe on the field, came back from 16-2 deficits to win, 21-18, raised a cahmpionship trophy together, endured terrible nights and awful seasons together - yet, I never knew this about Dave.
Now, I do.
It took a global community to get me to find a writer in my own dugout!
(Dave is pictured walking towards the dugout, #33)