Thoughts on Baseball and the World Series by Pat Thompson of the Minnesota Saints
The love for baseball for all of us in the 2019 Roy Hobbs World Series started long ago, stored in the catacombs of our minds, never forgotten.
Mine sprouted when my older brother and I requisitioned our big sister’s metal, strap-on roller skates and invented skateboard forerunners.
We lived boyhood dreams to play for our hometown baseball team of the 1950s, the El Paso Texans, the memory faded away long ago to some far recess of my intellect, until born again in Lee County Stadium in November 2006 in the Roy Hobbs World Series.
Growing up on Frankfort Street below the “A” mountain in El Paso, Texas, we played pick-up sandlot baseball games from morning to night in front of our house emulating our Dudley Field heroes, the El Paso Texans.
We devoured all the baseball box scores in the morning El Paso Times and always waited in suspense to find out how the Texans were doing against the arch-rival Juárez Indios, the Pampa Oilers, Albuquerque Dukes, Mexicali Reds or the Clovis Pioneers. The names of Syd and Andy Cohen, Art Lilly, Ramon Vargas, Diamond Cecil and Thunderbird Ford were magic to us.
Great adventures resulted in following our Texans, the grandest when we decided to sneak out without permission and catch our favorites under the lights at Dudley Field, a distance of about 4-5 miles but seemingly 100 to 9- and 10-year-old boys. We commandeered the sister’s roller skates and nailed one each to a 2-by-4 and 12-inch plywood squares. Using these skateboards well before their time, we flew downhill to Dudley. Nowadays, the Amber Alert would have sounded before we reached the field.
The vision to be a Texan baseball star eventually grew faint. College, marriage, kids, career.
But a love of baseball did not … covering major league baseball as a sports writer in Minnesota, starting a senior team in Eden Prairie, Minnesota in 1986, beginning a league for senior players and playing regularly in national senior tournaments.
I survive as a lifetime member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, primed for my 14th Roy Hobbs World Series.
That was how my love for baseball started. If our paths cross at Ft. Myers, please let me know how your passion for baseball evolved.
ABOUT PAT THOMPSON: Pat won Roy Hobbs rings as a pool player for the New England Red Sox Classics in 2006 and the Minnesota Saints Timeless Division AA champs in 2014. Thompson managed the Over-35 Eden Prairie Lions Tap team for 27 years in Minnesota, winning more than 350 games and celebrating a state championship in 1987.