Opening day. Lots of pain. And not just the kind from Nutting-induced indigestion.
My brother was a baseball savant. I mean, it was kind of creepy at times. And how someone can be BOTH a Pirates and a Yankees fan, well. I take full responsibility for the Yankees thing (an unintentional consequence of a souvenir), but the Pirates thing? Well, you could call it quixotic. And hilarious. Even though I've boycotted the Bucs for 12 years now (okay, except for getting to see a game from an unused luxury box donated to charity-- and that was thanks to my brother), I still would follow their short-lived initial success with bemusement and tease my brother about the inevitable meltdown every season. I caught myself starting to post said trash talk on his FB wall following the win today when I was reminded that, oh yes, he's not there to read it anymore.
Likewise, my questions about what he thinks of the Curve's championship ring have to go unasked and unanswered (I know he was skeptical of the new logos, though would probably have bought the merchandise), and we will not be seeing the Curve play the Baysox in Bowie or Altoona as planned this summer (if it were in Altoona, we could have gotten Al Tuna bobbleheads! I love Al Tuna!). Or ever. Which really hurts. It's one of those many, many things (like hiking the Milford Track) that I planned to do with my brother in a future that was starting to become a little more solid instead of just a "someday" notion. His birthday should have been in less than three weeks. I was going to take him to New York again so he could see another home Yankees game and climb the Statue of Liberty to the crown. There was just so much I wanted to do with him that I'll never get to do. Or do for him. I owed him banana bread, for crying out loud. Now I'm not sure that I can ever bake banana bread again. I can't even hear any talk of baseball without crumbling. It's non-stop O's talk around here (lack of their own hockey team does that, I suppose), and all I can think about was when he insisted that we HAD to go see the O's on the single. hottest. day. of. the. year. But he did make me proud that day: