by Alex Poletti
Despite enjoying a successful career and carrying on a long-term relationship with his girlfriend, 32-year-old local man John Young is still unable to earn the praise of his father Martin, who’s still bitter than his son wasn’t a T-Ball star.
“When I had a kid, I was expecting someone who could at least make good contact off the tee,” Martin says. “But Johnny would whiff on the ball and at best hit a grounder that would die out in the middle of the infield.”
A UCLA graduate with a degree in economics, John now accrues a six-figure salary, which has allowed him to buy his first house earlier than his peers, pay off his student debt and help his father with the bills, allowing an early retirement. However, all his good will can’t outdo his atrocious form while batting at age six.
“I’m glad he can help me pay the bills,” the father continues, “but if he’d had a half-decent swing and decent fundamentals, he would’ve made $500,000 minimum at the major league level. Instead, his arms were loose when he held the bat and it looked like he was swinging a garden hose. It was upsetting to say the least.”
In his Little League career, John amassed seventeen hits and one double over five years of play. He was a rightfield mainstay for his Bronco-level team before retiring from Little League at the age of 12.
“All I ever wanted was a son who could play shortstop,” Martin recalls. “He didn’t have to be an Ozzie Smith out there, I’d take a Jhonny Peralta just so long as he was playing the position. But he really had no feel for the glove. In the outfield, he’d spend more time picking daisies than getting good reads on a well-struck fly ball.”
To this day, Martin refers to Greg Moscowitz, the unquestionable star of the local T-Ball stage. A grade younger than John, Moscowitz could hit the ball 200 feet off the tee as a seven-year-old. Now Moscowitz is a cracked-up grocery store clerk, but Martin still romanticizes what it would’ve been like to have a son with that potential.
“I don’t know what Moscowitz is doing right now,” Martin says, despite reading an article three weeks ago in the local paper about his third arrest, “but that kid had the goods. Natural talent and a beautiful swing. I wish you could be more like that.”
Desperate for his father’s approval, John introduced Martin to his girlfriend, to whom he plans on proposing within the year. John’s girlfriend, Kristin, is a former pageant girl who just received her law degree from Berkeley. While Kristin and Martin got along well, the conversation quickly devolved.
“I am so lucky that my son has found a girl like you,” the father and longtime auto-repair mechanic says. “Now I don’t know if you know this, but John was the worst god damn T-Ball player I’ve ever seen in my life. Playing catch with him was like watching ‘Schindler’s List’ on repeat. It was agonizing watching my son to grow up to be a wonderful young man with absolutely no sense of how to properly play ball.”