May 20, 2011 In 1972, my family lived for a few months in Oakland Park, Florida. My younger brother and I ditched school one spring day and walked down the railroad tracks to the Mets spring training camp in Pompano Beach.
Today it seems like a great deal of effort to see an exhibition game. But it was just a workout: ballplayers choreographed in fielding drills and batting practice that eventually takes on the look of a three-ring circus.
As things wound down, Skip and I headed home. Outside the park we stuck out our thumbs. Ken Esposito stopped and gave us a lift his VW bus. We found out right away that he was a pitcher trying to make it with the Mets. Ken took us all the way to the house as we peppered him with questions about life as a pro baseball player.
That day came back to me this morning right as I woke. It hasn't crossed my mind in years. The internet allowed me to catch up with Ken. A good guy like that could have had a taste of the 'The Show'. RIP friend.