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If I knew him…

April 29, 2013

My dad’s side was never too into baseball.  He loves it, but really because his kids started playing it.  Everyone else in his family was more into football, which is a reflection of present-day America. 

There was one man on my dad’s side who was quite fond of baseball.  He was my dad’s uncle Harvey.

Harvey ran a gas station in the small town of Lake Park, Iowa, where my dad’s family lived when he was growing up.  At the time, the Cubs and Braves were both nationally televised, and Harvey chose to become a Braves fan. 

I somehow became interested in the Atlanta Braves in the summer after eighth grade, and, for whatever reason, I found myself engrossed in their history, mascots, and venues.  Part of the reason was my random stumbling upon them one day.  The other was my dad’s mentioning of Harvey.

Yes, my dad talked about him one night when I mentioned the Braves.  We were taking our dog on the nightly stroll.  I became fascinated with Harvey, though even today I don’t know too much about him. 

I suppose to say that I never met him would be a lie, because I was too little and I don’t remember him at all.  From what my dad has told me, he spoke when spoken to, a quiet man.

I believe to this day that part of the reason I was so interested in this seemingly lost family member was because he was so enigmatic to me: I felt as though I’d have been good friends with him had I actually known him (especially if I knew him in his younger days when he ran the gas station) , but that I still knew very little about him.  

One thing I did know about him, though, was that he enjoyed baseball.  Somehow, that’s enough to ignite my imagination.  That one simple interest in that one simple game was enough to make me ask my dad more and more about someone who I’d hardly ever thought of before.



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