Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Hold on to the Roof: 10 Out-of-the-Park Baseball Moments


What a long, strange journey it’s been, folks.

And I’m not talking about publishing two novels (glance over to the right), founding a literary podcast, getting married, moving to Boston, and doing adult things like starting a savings account. No, I mean it took me weeks to rescue this domain from whatever sketchy third-party website past-Daniel Ford used to stitch this operation together way back when. After multiple chats, calls, and prayers to the domain gods, HardballHeart.com is ready to scan your ticket and let you into the ballpark once again.

Sadly, for all involved, I have only just begun to empty my baseball clichés bag.

There are myriad reasons why this blog is special to me (and not solely because I spent money to renew the URL). I started posting in 2011, desperately craving a creative outlet. That need to share some of my favorite baseball stories led to writing about my family, sharing early drafts of Sid Sanford Lives! (seriously, the link to my books are on the right), and, eventually, starting Writer’s Bone with my good friend Sean.

Like much of the world, I’ve found myself with a little extra time on my hands. I also have an urgent desire to relive my all-time favorite baseball moments. I remain a cynical optimist, so I’m eyeing that day when we can mindlessly and joyously root, root, root for the home team. In the meantime, enjoy these unforgettable, out-of-the-park memories.

1. Donnie Baseball Goes Yard in the Playoffs


The Yankees may have experienced World Series success the following year and beyond, but they’ve never had a better, harder-earned homerun or call.

2. Mariana Rivera Says Goodbye to Fenway Park 


Thanks to my father-in-law, I got to attend this game. I don’t think I had even officially moved to Boston at this point. I tried real hard not to tear up in front of him.

3. “A Judge-ian Blast” 


Having sat in those bleachers, I can tell you this is an unthinkably far tater. Oh, I didn’t tell you this was mainly going to be about the Yankees? Too bad.

4. Holy Sh#&, What a Throw


I could watch Jesse Barfield throw runners out all day. What a bazooka of a right arm.

5. Flippin’ the Bat


I know this one angers some baseball purists, but, come on. Buck Showalter’s suspect managing deserved every glorious moment of José Bautista’s bat flip.

6. Bat Day


Sums up my inner emotions at the moment.

7. *Thumbs Down Emoji


*Yankee fans will get that reference. Loved following this Little League World Series team. Watched all the 1998 games in between backyard Wiffle ball games.

8. Father-Son Game


I love Ken Griffey Jr.’s swing as much as I do the Mariners' past and present uniforms.

9. Angels in the Outfield


Listen, I’m not good at headlines or headers. Got to grab the easy ones when I can.

Also, confession, I love that Angels logo. Going to lose some friends over that.

10. Big Daddy Bomb



Had Cecil Fielder connected on that 2-0 pitch, it might have landed in Canada.

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