“Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” – Sandlot.
Every baseball career is, at some point, supposed to come to an end. For my dad, that year was 1978. After his senior year on the JFK High School varsity baseball team, he knew that he would probably never step back onto the diamond for a competitive game of ball. He knew it was time to hang em up and focus on things he was way better at. It turns out that Richard Mintz’s career wasn’t over that fateful day in 1978. He would have one last moment in the sun.
I play for a baseball team called the Tenleytown Brewers. We play in an adult wood bat baseball league in the Washington DC Area. We have a roster of about 15 guys, but most nights we usually scrape by with nine dudes. The teams we play consist of guys trying to hold on to their dreams, which is equally depressing as it is entertaining. Last night was Saturday night, and considering that the majority of our roster is made up of guys in their early to mid 20’s who had better things to be doing on a Saturday night, we were short a player.
I called our coach, RJ, who also happens to be our third baseman and relief pitcher, to see if my dad would be needed to fill in as our ninth guy. He texted back: “We. Need. Richard.” So I gave dad the biggest pair of baseball pants I could find and we hopped in the car and drove out to McLean, VA.