The start of the baseball season in the United States has me thinking about Memorial Day in 2011.
My mom and I visited a cemetery that weekend to decorate graves. During our visit, we went looking for the headstone of a couple of relatives – a husband and wife – we’ve never visited because we didn't know for sure where it was located. But I had a general idea of where it might be and we had some time, so we gave it a shot.
As we browsed the rows, I stumbled across a headstone that stopped me in my tracks.
Her name was Katherine. She was born in 1911 and died in 1999. I stopped because somebody had placed an old beat up baseball where flowers or flags would ordinarily go – at the top of the headstone.
Obviously, Katherine must have been a baseball fan. Growing up in the 1920s, she would have had the chance to gather around the radio with her family and listen to old timey (I love that phrase) broadcasters paint beautiful pictures of players such as Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby and Lou Gehrig in action.
I couldn’t help but wonder about the story behind the baseball itself. Did it belong to Katherine? Was it autographed by her favorite player? Did she play catch with her grandkids with it? Did she catch it at a baseball game? Did one of her grandkids inherit it and decide that the time had come to return it to her?
Oh, if baseballs could talk!
Yes, I’m completely aware that a dog may have simply dropped the baseball off near her headstone but I’m going with my story. I like it better.