Syndic No. 17
Syndic Literary Journal

Story: Bill Berkowitz

Photo by Mukesh Srivastava

 

A Baseball Story From the Bronx Streets:

Stan Musial & The Elasticity of Truth

by Bill Berkowitz

Mike G. was a St. Louis Cardinal fan, which was kind of strange for a kid growing up only five blocks from Yankee Stadium. Yet he insisted on rooting for the Cardinals of Stan Musial and Red Schoendienst and all those other Redbirds. Stanley S. was a Chicago Cub fan. He also lived less than five blocks from Yankee Stadium. For Stanley, it was the Cubs, just as for Mike it was the Cardinals. And for Bobby K., who lived in the apartment building next to mine, it was the Boston Red Sox. I could understand why Mike, Stanley and Bobby didn’t root for the Yankees, but why they didn’t pick the two other home teams, the New York Giants or Brooklyn Dodgers was a mystery. Mike, Stanley and Bobby were five years older than me. They knew I was a Giants fan. I was a Giants fan mainly because my father was a Giants fan. I too, however, hated the Yankees, playing in Yankee Stadium just five blocks away from my apartment building. I got Musial’s autograph along with Ken Boyer and a lot of other Cardinals. I also got a fair share of Cubs autographs including Ernie Banks, Gene Baker and Dee Fondy, and the Red Sox’s Mel Parnell, and Jackie Jensen. 
When Mike or Stanley cornered me in the back alley, while me and my friends were playing stick ball, they’d ask me who my favorite team was. I soon learned that if I said the Giants,  I would get cracked with the stick we were using for a bat in our stickball game. If I answered Cardinals to Mike, and Cubs to Stanley, I was spared the stick. The truth, I learned, is sometimes elastic, bending towards preservation.

 

 

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December 2017
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