Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Eddie Lake and Life

Eddie Lake's nickname was "Sparky," I'm guessing because he was 5' 7" and weighed 160 lbs. He's one of those players whose careers spanned WWII. Unlike many others he actually played through most of the war as he was out in 1942 but otherwise missed no time. He played for 11 seasons (STL, BOS, DET) from '39-'50, so I'm guessing this is his last card. He was a solid enough ballplayer for a guy called "Sparky," being around league average career-wise, leading the league in OBP in 1945 and even getting an MVP vote that year (he finished 31st). He even pitched in 6 games in 1944.
Lake mostly played 3b/ss, so I'm guessing we're looking towards right-center field, those two white shadows coming in at the end of pre-game warm ups. Did Lake know this was the year? He would have been 34, so it's not inconceivable. Why's he out there taking extra fielding, or is he just out there to have his picture taken? Everyone else is already in, or headed in. 

As a card I think it's a pretty apt metaphor for a lot of the things we do, things accomplished when no one else is watching, for an audience of only ourselves. The stadium is empty, the young guys are gone or going in, Eddie Lake is out there taking one last grounder, one last pop up, thinking it might make a difference later on, so he'll be ready. The card lacks the glory of a Ryan Howard connecting but it portrays the mundane effort sustained by the rest of us, at work, working, getting ready to work, always being prepared.

Have a good one and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

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