CASEY'S COMEBACK reprinted with the grateful acknowledgement to
Caulen's Hot Corner
Francis M. Dattilo
It wasn't his "man cave."
It was Caulen's own "hot corner."
Like this little book of original baseball lore
with John Baker's Hot Corner of baseball
paintings. The dead of winter, six inches
of snow on the ground outside, another
three expected by morning.
Forget about that. Even his Nikki knew
better than that. With the space heater on
in the cozy southwest corner of his basement
dugout, it was grapefruit season in Lakeland,
Flori-day. Nikki would be joining him shortly
when she got off the horn with their oldest,
Alan, named after Alan Trammel, World Series
MVP the last year the Tigers took it all. Not
only would she be joining him, but she would be
reading-- no, reciting from memory!-- a couple
of the stories, including The Girl in Left-Field and
Was he-- were they-- taking this love of the
Great American Pastime too passionately?
You bet your grimy Red Sox they were!
The Red Sox.
Now there was a team you could grow to hate,
Caulen knew darn well.
The Splendid Splinter, Yaz, Boggs.
No matter how Christian you were,
you had to hate somebody.
For St. Peter, it had to be the darn Yankees.
For Caulen and Nikki it was the Red Sox.
Life was good. He opened the little book to
its opening story, Southpaws, and took a strong
sip of his hot cocoa.
*CASEY AT THE BAT by Robert Heindel, painting at Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown.