The Giants won last night! As they did the last two games before that. It’s all very exciting, or at least it would be if I did not find myself the proud new adoptee of a stray kitten. A kitten who demands all of my waking attention, both because she’s very sweet and also because she’s very sick and undernourished.
I may never have kids. And I have never had a pet of my own. There is something so powerful about nursing a tiny life back to health and knowing that she depends on you to keep her alive, and to make her feel loved and secure, that makes everything else feel so insignificant.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Buster Posey lately, as have we all. I think about how he is a couple of years younger than me and there is already talk that his career may be almost over. I was 25 when he won Rookie of the Year. A year younger than Tim Lincecum, whose career was basically over at the same age as Buster is now, and now the same age as Matt Cain was when he retired last year.
Sure, you can throw out your “LOL Young” at me if you want to, but honestly I feel like there are certain times in a baseball fan’s life that make them feel their mortality and I am in one.
It starts with the first time you see a player in the majors who is younger than you. That happened when I was 23 and a player on the Padres was 22 and I saw his birth date on the scoreboard and the world spun a little bit.
Then, when players your age start to fizzle out and either retire or disappear. (ex: Matt, Timmy.) Then when the oldest player on the team is only a couple of years older than you and is likely to retire this year, maybe. (Hunter).
And finally when players younger than you are reaching the “old man years” of their position. Old Man Buster was a distant thought for a distant future for most of my adult life. And now he’s recovering from a hip surgery that is scarier than it seems.
Sometimes, when you are so entrenched in the day to day minutia of baseball, these numbers really get to your head as you are also passing through these years, and it can make you feel washed. But I have to take a step back and remember that professional athletes are a tiny percentage of society. And one is generally not washed at the age of 33.
So I will love on my kitten, while she farts in my face for the tenth time tonight, and try to regain some perspective in this year of turmoil both on and off the field.