A few year back early one morning a gentleman walked by my table at a coffee shop where I was sitting.
Also, immediately I thought that's -------------. As he walked by my table I said to him, "Anderson Indians, the Wigwam, your school colors were red and green and your high school coach was Ray Estes." Almost immediately he stopped, looked at me and came over to my table. He did not know me from a load of coal. He and I had never met.
I had remembered him from my high school coaching days back in Indiana. He was an outstanding high school basketball player during the days I was teaching and coach. Outstanding to the point that he was on the Indiana High School All Star team, received a basketball scholarship to Vanderbilt and played in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76s'. From that meeting point he and I have become friends with us both sharing our passion for basketball and our Indiana heritage.
But another blessing to coming from this chance meeting was my once upon a time interest in baseball and his connection to one of my all time favorite people in baseball, Carl Erskine. Back in the late 1940s' and into the 1950s' Erskine was a pitcher for the famed Brooklyn Dodgers. I was never a Dodger fan but I was always a fan of two Dodger players as both of them were from Indiana. One was Gil Hodges and the other, Carl Erskine.
As a kid growing up in Indiana I always thought of these two transplanted Hoosier, they always seemed to me to exhibit class in the way they played and went about their business of being a professional. My opinion has not changed in all these years.
Recently I just finished reading Ed Henry's book 42 Faith and I like what Erskine said when recently interviewed by Ed Henry.
"Those Dodger teams---people think losing is all bad. First from a spiritual standpoint, losing is necessary. Otherwise you would have no thanksgiving or praise for success. The best comes out of people when they have some form of failure."
I wish a few more folks would give ear to Erskine's words.
November 2, 2017