We all hail from somewhere. Myself, I wandered off the property of a collective of like-minded individuals whose goal was to use the ’93 Phillies as the inspiration for a government coup d’etat. My hair used to be styled like Mitch Williams. “Mullet kid,” they called me. The teachers, I mean. The other kids were mostly silent. You’d be surprised how little children want to interact with a kid who gets picked up from school in an unmarked van by seven people in Pete Incaviglia jerseys.
Erik Kratz is from somewhere to, only instead of giving him weird dreams and a subconscious devotion to running a Phillies web site, his native land awarded him with a framed Erik Kratz jersey to be hung in their halls, honoring him forever.
Christoper Dock Mennonite High School invited their alumnus/Phillies’ backup catcher of the near future to return to their halls, and speak to students about the value of hard work, strong beliefs, and catching Roy Halladay’s cutter.
It’s a fantasy we all hope to achieve some day; that perhaps the very private school halls that frightened and confused us as 14-year-olds would beckon us to return and explain all the ways we are now better than anyone in the building.
I’m sure Kratz’s speech featured far more inspiration than bitterness and condescension, but that’s because he’s a decent human being. Probably because his former high school invites speakers like Erik Kratz to address the student body.