It’s easy to get a bit down these days. A debt crisis in Europe, continuing political unrest in the Middle East, a lingering global recession and, in the U.S., politicians beating up on one another like they are vying for an appearance on the Jerry Springer show. Yes, some days, it’s a challenge to feel positive about anything.
And, then, I remember Myron (“Moe”) Drabowsky, who passed away six years ago this month.
Drabowsky was a major league pitcher with eight teams over a 17 year career. He was a consistently average pitcher, but one who occasionally achieved moments of greatness such as in the 1966 World Series where he appeared as a reliever and struck out 11 batters.
But what Drabowsky is best remembered for is his sense of humor. In the pressure packed world of professional baseball, he always found a way to help his teammates (and fans) find a way to laugh.
He was the guy who put goldfish in the water cooler of the opposing team. He also lit a string of firecrackers behind the Atlanta Braves mascot. In the bullpen during one game, he picked up the phone and ordered Chinese food to be delivered to the ballpark. He enjoyed snakes. Enjoyed putting them in the shaving kits, lockers and clothing of unsuspecting teammates. Once, after being hit by a pitch, he arranged to be taken to first base in a wheelchair. And, he specialized in giving the “hot foot”, where a person sneaks up on an unsuspecting victim and quietly lights a book of matches at their feet igniting shoelaces and pant legs. It’s a sadly forgotten part of baseball like stealing home and the hidden ball play at first base. Drabowsky played this prank on everyone – teammates, coaches, reporters, even the commissioner of baseball.
At times like these, we need a few more people like Drabowsky.
So, everyone just take a deep breath, relax and channel your “Inner Moe”.