Friday, March 27, 2015

The sky clears. Finally.

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Last night the gloom of winter seemed to lift from New York. Despite an explosion downtown that injured dozens and brought 250 fire-fighters, hundreds of police and Hizzoner to the scene, the snow has finally gone the way of all flesh, the spitting rain had cleared, and the temperatures were inching toward the 60s. The sky was rosy-fingered.

In short, baseball was in the air.

If you're a New Yorker of a certain age, there's something even more alluring than Julie Christie in "Dr. Zhivago," or Catherine Deneuve in "Umbrellas," or even the minx a few desks away with the come-hither smile. And that's baseball.

The green grass. The crack of bat meeting ball. The loping outfielder who turns a sure-double into an easy out.

Of late, I've been wearing the black and orange woolen cap of the old New York Giants who held court until they fled west to Baghdad by the Bay, 58 years ago. Most people mistake the cap--which hasn't been seen in these environs since Eisenhower was president for the one worn by the Mets. But that ignorance is what separates the men from the boys. I wouldn't be seen dead in a Mets' cap, or a Yankee's cap for that matter. And Brooklyn, I haven't even visited since the early 90s, having gotten lost on the subway or something.

But the New York Giants were Manhattan's team, playing way uptown across the Harlem River from the Cathedral, Yankee Stadium, they played in the Polo Grounds, and were most-clearly the third team in a three team city.

Nevertheless, they were New York, and I am New York, so it's their cap I wear. Anachronisms be damned.

But back to last night, as the skies cleared, the sap was running and the air was warming. I stepped out of a yellow cab and announced to the Avenue, "It's here. Baseball season."

A like-aged man was crossing the street toward me.

"Baseball," he said, "Baseball and Ballantine."

We both laughed.

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Maybe the last two New Yorkers who remembered.

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