Watching LA win the 2020 World Series, my mind flashed back to the 1988 heroics of Orel Hershiser. During that season he pitched 59 consecutive scoreless innings. (A record that may stand forever.) In the Series he had two complete game victories, both on three-days rest. Plus, he had three hits including two doubles.
After being named World Series MVP, Hershiser appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson where — sitting next to Johnny — he memorably sang the 1674 Doxology to millions of late-night viewers.
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him, all creatures here below,
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.”
Of course, the Payleitners are Cub fans. But by the following summer, Alec had amassed about 100 Orel Hershiser baseball cards and wore a Dodgers baseball cap everywhere he went. To this dad, it was all good. Kids need heroes.
The next summer, on a cross-country family vacation, Alec accidentally left that beat up blue cap at a greasy spoon diner where we had stopped for breakfast somewhere in Pennsylvania. By the time he realized it, we had traveled some 30 miles. I knew we had dozens of ball caps at home. But I also knew that one particular cap was more than a typical ballcap. I wasn’t happy about it, but I made an illegal U-turn on the expressway and drove back to retrieve it.
That cap was important to Alec, so as a committed parent, it was important to me. Make sense?
Keep at it,