Pettitte: The Heart and Soul of Balance

"Are you in mourning?" came the tweet this afternoon.

"Pettitte's retiring!" I said--possibly very loudly because Clyde ran up to his kennel as I popped open the laptop to log onto the Internet and confirm my worst fears.

The first news source carrying the story was boston.com, which site spelled his name wrong as it confirmed the dark news.

"No," I replied to Rich's tweet. That will be tomorrow. Today I am in shock.

Then I climbed onto the elliptical and attempted to read while I worked out, but all I could think of was Pettitte--and not just because his 16 X 20-inch portrait is in plain view from my vantage point exercising in the cellar. Not just because my bedroom is decorated with his autographed baseball, autographed photo, and countless baseball cards.

I thought of that World Series game years and years ago in the old Yankee Stadium, when I watched him pitch for the first time in my experience. He pitched beautifully. The Yankees lost. Except that you can't be that graceful and so completely in the game and lose. When you play like that, you win every time. 

To know me at all and to have read to this point is to laugh out loud because it's a plain and simple fact that I think Pettitte is Adonis.  Borrow my laptops one day and you will laugh out loud again--or be deeply concerned--because I have an awful lot of downloads of 46 all over the place on my computers (Here's a random sample of my many downloads.)

But handsome is not a thing that sits on the surface; it is something that emanates from deep within. 

Pettitte loves his family. He cares about his kids. He has said over and over that his life is not baseball. Yet, when he plays baseball, that is his life. For him, though, those moments begin and end, and there is his family. That's the heart and soul of balance.

In an article about Pettitte's retirement that Katie sent me February 2, AP sports writer Ronald Blum quotes former teammate and YES commentator Paul O'Neill extensively.  O'Neill's words capture the dignity and humility of my favorite Yankee.  O'Neill says:  "You're going to miss him taking the mound every fifth day. You're going to miss having him as your number-one or number-two starter going into the playoffs. But you're really going to miss just how he helps younger players and how he helps pitching staffs as a veteran pitcher who's really been though pretty much everything as a New York Yankee."

Over the years I've taken some good-natured flak for being a Pettitte fan rather than a Yankee fan. All I can say now, as I have always said, is show me the difference.  Pettitte captures what is fine, what is excellent, about being committed to and competitive about what you do.  He was all poise, all grace, when he would take the hill in those pinstripes. Now, as he heads home, he is all poise and grace.

All time winningest.....

I'm pitching for the New York Yankees...

Go ahead; treat yourself: Andy Pettitte's Journey to Comfort

Comments

  1. He will surely be missed! I am a fan of his too!! Great player!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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  2. I have heard of him before. I didn't know he was of retirement age. I guess they don't last too long in sports. I hope he has the best in retirement. I hope you find someone else to admire. ;)

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  3. He is a class guy.

    I had similar thoughts about Nolan Ryan while he was still playing. I lived in Houston when he pitched for the Astros. He was awesome both as a player and as a person.

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  4. I know nothing of baseball, but I admire anyone's passion for any kind of sport and it's players.;))
    And this one sure is a very good looking man as well.;)
    Have a great Friday,
    xoxo

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  5. Seu blog é um luxo'
    Xeriinho.

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  6. I think I can understand how you feel. Many years ago -- before computers and the internet -- I admired (and still do) Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs. He was known as 'Mr. Sunshine', which is hard to do on a team as perpetually bad as the Cubs.

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  7. Wonderful post . I enjoyed reading it and also I hope you are staying warm after all these storms you have had.

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  8. You will always have the memories! What a wonderful essay!

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