In a baseball state of mind

I painted the bottom of the boat yesterday and realized as I got more and more woozy from the fumes of the bottom paint (nothing like a lungful of a substance designed to kill barnacles and slime to make one feel good about one’s self) that it’s one of my favorite chores — not because of the satisfaction of the job well done — but because of the simple pure pleasure of listening to a baseball game on the radio.

Even though the radio broadcast a terrible game as  the Red Sox went down in flames on Mother’s Day,  listening to them do so, while outside on a splendid May afternoon, paint brush in hand, is one of those quintessential multitasking things that make me happy.

Then, this morning, in a grand birthday gesture, the Red Sox ticket office phoned to let me know my patient stint on the season ticket waiting list was over and I am now an official season ticket holder. I decided to start small and took seven games in the bleachers — where it all began for me so many years ago — and must confess to a feeling of personal real estate ownership out there by the Pesky Pole in right field in section L43, Row 32, on the aisle in seats 1&2. This is my view more or less.

At the hardware store yesterday — on one of three trips for screws, nuts, washers, etc. — the guy behind the register saw my Cotuit Kettleers hat, the nasty sweat-stained one I use for painting, and asked when the season was going to start: “June 12 at home against Orleans,” I replied, a Wednesday I will make sure I am in Cotuit for and not behind my desk in New York City.

The Kettleer newsletter arrived this weekend with the good news that the Cotuit Athletic Association has renewed Coach Mike Roberts’ contract for another three years. He’s been with the Kettleers since 2003 and is a genuinely wonderful man, the kind of guy who appears out of nowhere on the morning of the Library’s annual book sale to help lug boxes of books out of the basement and onto the tables set up on the front lawn. Coach Roberts is a baseball legend. He coached the Tarheels for a very long time, is the father of Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts, and headmaster of the Roberts School of Cape Cod Small Ball, his annual training camp for the best  collegiate freshmen and sophomore ball players in the intricacies of the hit-and-run, sacrifice bunts, the double-steal, and even, swear to god, the hidden ball trick. One of his proteges, Vanderbilt’s Mike Yaztrkemski, was the subject of a great Tyler Kepner profile in the Sunday New York Times.

With a new snackbar and restroom, the ball park is looking sharp for the 2013 season, testimony to the CAA’s fundraising efforts and the loyalty of Cotuit’s fans.

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