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donnie


donnie


i keep a baseball card in my desk drawer of a player,
who shortly after the end of his career,
took a gun and stuck it in his mouth.
the card shows him smiling.
happy days forever. with his stats on the back;
lead american league in saves in 1985 while with the angels,
enjoys bowling, archery
and struggles daily with bouts of suicidal depression.

i remember the report in the morning paper,
friends and team mates believed it was due to a divorce and
one bad pitch in a play-off game against boston.
dave henderson. i think it was a split-fingered fastball or
a change up that never broke.
it was supposed to be his "out" pitch.
all year he'd been throwing it with success
but his arm was worn out. dead.
it was a game winner for the soxs and
the angels missed their best chance in years at a trip to the series.
teammates were quoted saying
he told them several times how
he felt responsible-personally and directly-for the team's
missed opportunity.

the constant drip in the sink from the pressure of history
can lead a person toward many things.
and the card is in my desk, next to a roll of stamps,
a box of paper clips and a couple of pencils with
big erasers to correct mistakes, allowing another chance
to change history, to rewrite it. such
events as small as a misspelling
or putting a comma in the wrong place,

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