Yesterday when I got home, late as usual, I had a FedEx package from the Seraperos de Saltillo Baseball Club. It was their usual annual invitation to the Juegos de Veteranos, the old-timers' game, taking place, as it always does, on the last weekend in May.
Inside the envelope were the usual xeroxed sheets of arrangements. Hotels, nearby restaurants, recommended flights and a calendar of events.
This year, I even got a personal note from Francisco Escondido, the Seraperos' new manager looking forward to meeting me.
"We would very much like to ee you on the weekend of May 26-May 28th, for the erapero ' annual Juego de Veterano . Plea e re pond a oon a po ible.
" incerely your ,
First thing I noticed, of course, was that the typewriter in the front office was still missing its "s" key. But that was ok. Nevertheless, though I have made the sojourn down south for the last three years, this year I cannot go. While the festivities always coincide with my wife's birthday, this is a big one for my better half, and I know it's a matter of my health to do something special for the her.
There was a return envelope and reply card and I checked all the requisite boxes telling the club, that with great remorse, I could not attend.
"You should go," my wife beseeched once she saw what I was doing. "My birthday's on a Friday. You can take the early flight to Monterrey and still make the game on Saturday."
"No," I said, reminding her that we had booked a place that week on Cape Cod. "Besides, my shoulder is worse this year. I couldn't make the throw from third to first if I sent the ball airmail."
My wife who knows me better than I know myself, corrected me. "No, your dumb pride will force you to make the throw, and in the process, you'll ruin your shoulder permanently."
I smiled. No one ever said she wasn't perspicacious.
"But that's ok," she continued somewhat cruelly, "you revel in your pain."
Though I had a thousand and one comebacks for my wife's barb, I wisely let it drop.
I ran the envelope down to the doorman where FedEx will whisk it back to Saltillo.
And that's it for this year. No ball for me.