My seats used to be in left field, where every Sunday home game we would celebrate America’s past time by hurling unfair and unprovoked insults at whomever was unfortunate enough to be slotted in the position for the opposing team. Usually Pat Burrell got a solid dosage, too, with a few middle-aged housewives chiming in with thier undying support of his ass.
One year, the Blue Jays came to town, and their leftfielder was a stocky journeyman named Matt Stairs. Those of us who even knew who he was were aware of exactly zero of his accomplishments. There were no Matt Stairs headlines for us to transform into antagonistic shouts.
“Hey Matt Stairs!” the guy behind us screamed. ”… I will Stair you down!”
He turned his head enough for us to know he heard the remark and smirked. We all just kind of shrugged collectively, tickled that a pro athlete actually acknowledged us, and turned our attention to telling Pat Burrell how little of his $11 million he actually deserved.
Years later, Matt Stairs hit the most important home run of his career, wearing the only uniform that excuses you from the ire of the left field assholes (mostly). You know the one.
And he followed that with the quick press conference to announce that there is nothing better than getting ass hammered by a bunch of dudes. Matt has retired, his days of swinging for the fences over. But we’ll have our novelty t-shirts. We’ll have our catch phrases. We’ll have our memories.
The Man. The Myth.
The Ass Hammer.