Saturday was my very first book signing. Incredible is an understatement in reference to how it turned out. There were people there that I knew, didn’t know, didn’t remember, and people I have known my whole life. It was remarkable.
As the signing was coming to a close, I noticed a woman standing in the valances with a huge smile on her face. I did not know who she was but I kept staring at her to try and figure it out. I knew she was important just wasn’t sure how. After the last person got their book she approached me and said, “Do you know who I am?” At that very moment I knew exactly who she was. She was my catcher. Behind every amazing pitcher is an equally amazing catcher. She was mine. We won the state championship in 1987 and I received the most valuable player in the state of Tennessee. That was when trophies meant something. She was most valuable right along with me because without her, I could not be the pitcher that I was.
We don’t have a photo like this one, but we lived it. This very scenario, we lived it. Together.
One of my favorite movies is A League of Their Own. I felt like I was living that movie Saturday as I talked with my catcher. I felt like we were at the opening of our Hall of Fame 25 years later. I stared into her eyes and I could see a much younger version of her with the dirt on her face, I could see the sweat covering her brow, and the discussion on the mound about how “we got this. Relax”. In reality, she was stunningly beautiful, but as I looked at her I saw our past. Our history.
Here we are, in a league of our own. One day, one event, one book, one old friend, one monumental moment. My catcher. It was so good to see her.