SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Saturday, December 11, 2004

'Tis the Season for an Aging, Jolly Fat Man

Dear Santa:

I am an old man, at least in my profession. But a jolly one at that. So, we have something in common.

I am out of shape, really. A couple of years ago I had my chance to shine on a big stage, but my back just wouldn't cooperate. I had to let an understudy take my place, and, well, the performance was bad.

I spent the following year (last year) on an exodus in a sunny climate, where the healing powers of the sun and sea air did wonders for me. And I performed pretty well, even if the lights on the stages weren't quite as bright.

At this stage in my career many people retire to become coaches, broadcasters or spokesmen. Some give speeches. Others collect appearance fees, and I imagine I could do well at bike shows everywhere. And the memorabilia shows, too, because I've lived a lot of life and have lots of good stories to tell.

But this Christmas, all I am asking is for one more shot at the big-time. This ancient mariner (actually, that's a bad analogy because I never played for them) just wants one more chance to drive the biggest hog (that's motorcycle, as you probably travel with more genteel folk than I do) into the baddest ass biker town in the U.S. of A. Put into baseball terms, I want to stay in the Show for one more season, and I want the bright lights again.

God has blessed me by making me into a lefthanded pitcher who can make strong men weep as my tantalizing array of pitches dances by their flailing bats. And, at forty-one, I can still bring it (if I were a righty, I'd have been out of baseball in my late twenties and working as a Harley salesman in Yuba City). So please work with the powers that be at the World Champions and get them to give me a wonderful Christmas present.

A reasonable contract to pitch for the World Champions.

Years ago, they had a great pitcher named Lefty Grove, one of the five best pitchers of all time, I reckon'.

This year, let me be one of the best lefties to hurl (and I mean, pitch, as I've cut down on the beers to save my back) in the history of Fenway Park.

Thanks, Santa, you won't be disappointed.

Best wishes,

David Wells

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