When I was 12 I was the pitcher representing Rye NY in an all star game against Larchmont NY. I was throwing a no hitter into the 5th inning and then gave up a grandslam home run to Larchmont and we lost the game. I was devastated. The Greenbergs whose son Carl was on my team seeing I did not have a father living at home invited me to share their Cape Cod vacation the very next week. My mother was blessed by their kindness, and I had a special vacation with the Greenbergs. In my senior year in high school when I was having trouble getting into college, my mother carefronted Mr Greenberg at a high school wrestling match. Carl and I were members of the wrestling team. She asked Mr Greenberg to plead with our wrestling coach Mr Miller to appeal to Springfield college for admissions to their school.
Mr Miller took an entire day off and drove me to Ma and made his appeal to the dean of admissions. I was not accepted but I was inspired to do better, got a " B" average and sent the new and improved grades to Northeastern U in Boston. They accepted me.
At Northeastern I met an entirely different crowd than I would have at Springfield. Finally by my junior year gave up competitive sports for theatre, the arts. Graduated with a degree in English literature, and not physical education as would have been at Springfield. Without the Springfield challenge, however, I would not have had the grades to be accepted at Northeastern.
Why mention this anyway? Remember Mr and Mrs Greenberg? Had I not given up that home run, lost the game in a most devastating way, Maybe they would not have reached out to me. My Mom would not have a friend to call on 6 years later to intercede for me for college. Going to NU had everything to do with being in the garment business as well as staying true to what I could not articulate then ..... a call to acting in plays, in life, to God. As a newspaper writer I wrote years later " I was playing to God.
You see my special partner ,.....I met in the garment business on a trip to California. I met Wendy we fell in love. We met Jesus we got married we had Stephanie. My life is far from perfect, but this is perfect. It would not have happened had I not given up that homerun, lost the game, and found a friend. Wherever you are Mr and Mrs Greenberg, however you are, thank you ,your act of kindness has changed the world ,and is infinitly better because of you. The blessing extends to your sons Carl and David which would not have happened save for you and a most kindly God.
On earth as it is in heaven.
Forever yours, losing pitcher Rye - Larchmont Allstar Game Disbrow Park Rye NY, June 1961.