First Newsletter

 

Our newsletter, Good Fences, was sent on the 31st of January. If you did not receive it please look in the promotions or spam sections of your emails.

If you have not signed up for our newsletter yet, here is an excerpt from our first edition.

 

Log of a stretch run to nowhere.

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         The Art of Conflation 

 

So, let me explain the title of this journal, Log of a Stretch Run to Nowhere. For many, many years, I have housed that title in my head, lived with it content on rummaging around in my mind, searching for a way out into the world, for a venue, so to speak, where it can be seen. This journal may be that venue.  The title originates from an article by the great third baseman of the Baltimore Orioles, Brooks Robinson, in the 1966 January issue of Sport Magazine. He had been tasked by Sport to keep a journal of his thoughts and experiences during the last month of the 1965 baseball season to give readers a perspective of what it’s like for a ballplayer, especially one of Robinson’s caliber, to play that last month for a team that has little, if any hope of advancing to the World Series. I was twelve years old when I read that story and the haunting poetry of that title stuck in my head for years. But, the story did not.
Years, then decades passed. The title persisted in my memories from that tumultuous period. Yet, subtle changes crept in. The “run” part leaked away. Now, it was just a “stretch” to nowhere. And then the conflation occurred. I had read an article from a December 1966 Sport  Magazine ( I had a subscription back then) that chronicled the experiences of three different players-Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, and Sandy Koufax-while their respective teams, the Giants, Pirates, and Dodgers, fought for the 1966 National League pennant. Believe me, I ate, drank, and dreamed baseball in the 1960s. That story stuck snuggly in the gray matter, evidently taking up residence close to Brooks Robinson’s saga from the preceding January.
Mind like a steel trap? Evidently not. No, Brooks disappears completely, “run “is out, and Willie, Roberto, and Sandy move in. Now, the memory becomes The Log of a Stretch to Nowhere, a story about three of my National League heroes and their involvement in the 1966 pennant race. Brooks was an American Leaguer, by the way. And that’s how it remained.
Until… About a year ago, if memory serves me and for what that’s worth, I started looking for real evidence of that warm memory from my childhood. I wanted to see it again. I began a search for a copy of the story and the magazine on the internet. Ebay came to my rescue. I found the title, but much to my surprise, the magazine had the wrong story with it. Well, no I guess they did not. I eventually found my three National Leaguers hiding in that December 1966 issue of Sport in a story that was entitled “The Key Men Down The Stretch: Clemente, Mays, Koufax”. My realization was now complete.
Well, what this incident tells me about trusting the veracity of my cherished memories is both disturbing and informative. We speak of the arrogance of youth, but it may be the certitude of the thoughts of the adults in the room that we should perhaps doubt and fear the most. Still, I find the title just as haunting, and for me at least, as apt a metaphor for life as I might invent. So that I might remove all doubt concerning the reality of this article’s existence, and whether I might have dreamed the whole thing, I ordered an original copy of the magazine from a seller on Ebay.
I eagerly awaited its arrival and so it came last Wednesday.  And there was Brooks… Ain’t life grand?

David Wright

 

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