Saturday, August 13, 2011


(Photo: AP)
I was having a discussion with my son the other day because he was swinging a bat that was clearly too heavy. But, to kids, they want to do what their peers do and want to use what their friends use, hence the bat that their friends use too. Well, sometimes it just doesn’t work.

“Choke up like Bucky Dent and maybe you’ll crank it out of here. I said to my frustrated son. “Who’s Dent?” he asked. I thought about it for a second. To every Yankee fan he offered one of the greatest moments in sports. To Red Sox fans, he’s Bucky "Bleeping" Dent. I went through the whole story about how the first pitch coming out of Mike Torrez’s hands was fouled off by Bucky and it hit him in the foot. Dent went down hard, but got up, regrouped and as he was about to get back to work, the bat boy ran over with Mickey Rivers' bat. The next pitch was cranked over the big green monster and I just remember watching him in the box before he hit it. Bucky Dent was choked up unusually high.

It’s a moment I’ll never forget because at that time in my life I was a kid, who, you guessed it, didn’t like to choke up. After Bucky hit his homer, I remember not being embarrassed about choking up anymore. Believe me, I didn’t know why I was choking up, I just figured if this little guy named Dent could crank it out, so could I. After all, I was little and I wasn’t that good at 7 years old so I needed all the help I could get. Over time, I started hitting, and I started using my legs and running too and eventually I was the spark plug of the team, and it goes back to Bucky Dent choking up.

Now, I’m in the middle of the baseball field with my 8 year old who’s telling me in so many ways that it’s not exactly “cool” to choke up. Reluctantly, he choked up. I chucked it in and he creamed it over first base into right field. Yeah, choking up probably isn’t a good idea.” I said smiling. My son glanced over and smirked, he had a sparkle in his eye, “Did you see that?” he asked. It was a breakthrough. Sure, baseball season is over for him now, but he’s already told me we’re gonna practice through the winter so we’re ready next spring.

We got home and I pulled up You tube and of course, Dent’s homerun is on there. We watched it together and as the ball went over the green monster and the video clip ended, my son looked at me and said “That was cool. As he went into the other room to watch some Spongebob, he asked me… “Just curious, do they make Bucky Dent Jerseys?

"Yeah," I thought... "it looks like Jorge Posada's." Note to Santa… another request is on the way.

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