Every so often I write something of substance. It’s not always embedded tweets and GIFs. So prepare to have your minds blown! Or not.
My copy of 100 Things Padres Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die by Kirk Kenney showed up a little over a week ago. I have read it. This is my review.
Kenney has been a sportswriter for the San Diego Union-Tribune since 1985. Triumph Books has published a series of books about sports teams’ histories and asked Kenney if he would write one about the Padres.
The title says it all. The book is 100 things in Padres history that fans — maybe not should — but perhaps would be interested to know. People, dates, numbers, and events that helped shape the Padres into what they are today.
First off, Randy Jones wrote the foreword. You know, the barbecue guy. Oh, Jones also won the 1976 Cy Young Award while pitching for the Padres. Oh, he was the first person inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame. Oh, and his number 35 was also retired by the Padres.
I can’t think of a better way to begin a book about the Padres than to have the Crafty Lefty get the start. So right off the bat (pun intended), the book has some credibility.
Questions don’t make you a fisherman. Concentration makes you a fisherman. So practice. Practice fishing now – by concentrating on this ballgame.
– David James Duncan, The Brothers K
While a game between the Yankees and Indians plays on the television in July of 1960, Hugh “Smoke” Chance admonishes his son Kade for allowing himself to be distracted during Sunday morning baseball. The boy is excited. He is missing church, home watching baseball, and pondering an afternoon of fishing with his dad; a miracle of sorts.
His attention wanes, though, as he tries to understand what concentration has to do with fishing. In a round about way his dad tries to explain that, to excel at fishing, one must also be adept at focusing on the task at hand; to be able to concentrate. The father asks him to concentrate on the ballgame.
It is 2013 and the Padres are playing the Pirates in August. I reflect on the line from Duncan’s novel and realize that I am not different from a child who lacks the ability to concentrate on the task at hand. It pains me to admit it to myself but I realize that my lack of concentration is ruining my ability to watch a ballgame.
I close my laptop. I place my phone on the armrest of the couch and vow to only check the conversation between innings.