The previous Tim Lincecum article made me think about Jack Taschner more than I ever had in past 8-10 years. For those who don’t remember Jack Taschner, he was a left-handed reliever from 2005-2008. So I did a very brief search and found this public safety video about kids keeping their front doors locked and not letting anyone in the house when parents aren’t home. Even people they know.
It’s a credit to Taschner that he’s able to glance at the cue cards and deliver his lines without breaking rhythm. They obviously needed to cram all the information into a 30-second spot, and his quick delivery certainly made that easy. Also, it feels like right after this partnership, Major League Baseball stopped caring about child safety altogether until the netting started going up around stadiums last year.
But there’s more to this Jack Taschner story! Also, and perhaps more importantly, it turns out that Jack Taschner is now a police officer in Wisconsin and went viral with a prank on high school students. I gotta tell ya, learning this made me think of the scene in Garden State when Sad Boy gets pulled over by a cop and discovers that he went to high school with that cop and they bond over their mutual sadness and scream with Natalie Portman into a void, I think.
Do you think Jack Taschner has ever screamed into a void with a former high school classmate and Natalie Portman? We may never know. But he did go viral.
I’m suddenly reminded of this: Jack Taschner signed a batting practice home run ball I got in San Diego on the last day of the 2008 season. And to be clear, I did not catch the ball. I scrambled around on the concrete like an idiot. There were no kids nearby, so it wasn’t some depraved scramble. It was just the undignified scramble of a baseball fan on the ground of a major league stadium, going after a ball he could buy in a store.
What are your memories of Jack Taschner? What are your memories of the grounds of major league stadiums? Of existential voids?