Memorial Day is upon us and so is my yearly trip down to Saltillo, Mexico for the Seraperos' second-annual Juego de Viejos, Old Timers Game.
I got home late last night--the time and tides of work--and packed my old green Seraperos duffle bag. In went my entire collection of linen clothing (it's hot as hell in Saltillo in late May), my shaving stuff, my heart and blood-pressure medicine and what remains of my old baseball gear.
I have an old leather pair of black Riddell spikes that still have some games left in them, an old Brooks Robinson "Finest in the Field" infielders' glove, and my old, teal-sleeved fungo t-shirt with an ornate Seraperos "S" over the left breast.
Saltillo has grown since I played there 41 summers ago. Now you can fly there stopping only in Mexico City. But I did a little math, and it's still faster to fly to Corpus Christi, Texas, rent a car and drive six hours through the scrub and desert to fair Saltillo.
I'll be down there through the end of the month, playing in my second Juegos de Viejos, battling the encroaching decrepitude and vicissitudes of time. Last year, I escaped the three-inning exhibition having fielded the hot corner creditably and having scratched out a bloop base-hit.
This year, my torn right rotator is flaring up. My eye-hand coordination is a year less adroit. I can only hope I will not be laughed off the field being pelted with beer cans and vicious invective like "El Americano gordo."
I will, while I am gone, try to write of my journey. But I will likely write with less frequency.
Things are often slower south of the border.