As I sit watching the Houston Astros/Chicago Cubs game, I think of my love of baseball. I think how baseball impacted my life. Most people think…well, she just loves baseball. They do not realize baseball was my life blood since I was a little girl. My dad was a great Brooklyn Dodgers fan. He taught me about the Brooklyn Dodgers and the love of baseball. When I was 10, my dad was diagnosed with renal kidney failure. I picked up the slack to help dad. I learned baseball to have something to talk to dad about that was not to painful. Let’s remember, dad was on kidney dialysis starting in the 70’s.
I collected baseball cards. I was a tom boy. I climbed trees, caught frogs, and flipped baseball cards in the schoolyard. I remember looking at my baseball cards in my room. Mike Schmidt was my favorite as a kid. When I looked at his card, I never imagined I meet him. When I did meet him, I cried like a baby. It was my hero and it overwhelmed me. I looked at my cards so often that I accidently memorized who was on what team. When we flipped cards, this gave me a slight advantage . My favorite year card was and still is the 1981 cards, especially Topps.
When I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1988, I was experiencing such loss of my abilities and personhood I fell back on my old friend…baseball and baseball cards. I was just trying to survive and find familiarity and I did this with baseball. My love and reasons were often misunderstood. Nowadays I know more about baseball and the history of the game than most men. I often know players when I see them and have met all living Baseball Hall of Famers except for about 10.
Please realize when I was diagnosed with MS in 1988, my life changed. I decided at that point that my life would be different than it had been. It needed to be different. I enjoy meeting different players and having different experiences. I needed to live the best I could. So my best advice is find your passion and do not let MS or whatever stop you. This is what I did.