By Tim “Shoe” Sullivan
It’s absolutely amazing what things you can remember from way back in your childhood. I’ll never forget something that happened right in little Stevens Point when I was just a kid.
You will not believe the ending to this story.
The year was about 1957. An old man lived alone in a house about three blocks down the road. He seemed to be about 80 and was probably a nice guy. Can’t say for sure though because I never actually met him.
Someone once said that they thought he was a Hall of Fame baseball player who played for the New York Yankees and was a World Series hero.
He didn’t seem to have any children. Every now and then, in the summer, I’d walk past his house. He’d be sitting on his porch in a rocking chair while listening to a ballgame on the radio.
Seemed like he never missed listening to a baseball game.
One time I actually saw him walking down the block. But instead of using a cane, he walked with a baseball bat for balance.
Nobody ever thought of autographs back then.
We knew he wasn’t Babe Ruth.
And why would a New York Yankee star be living in Stevens Point?
None of the neighborhood kids I hung around with ever actually found the nerve to go up and talk to the guy.
He drove a car that had to be from the 1920s.
This was way before ESPN.
Once, when he was out walking with his baseball bat, a bee must’ve been bothering him. I saw him stop, take one mighty swing, and splat — a direct hit.
Not bad for an 80-year old man.
Finally, a buddy of mine, Johnny, walked up to his mailbox on his front porch to see if he could spot a name. No luck there.
None of the neighborhood kids ever found out who he was.
Neither did I.