Old goats pitching with Miller & Paine birthday cake

Dad and I laughed about the "old guys" pitching tonight in game six of the World Series. Andy Pettitte and Pedro Martinez are not yet forty, which is basically still in junior high in the big scheme of things.

Dad said he almost remembered turning forty. Since we share our birthdate that was a favorite memory of mine. When I turned eight my mom threw a big birthday bash. First all the girls in second grade came over to my house for cake and punch. Miss Baker, our school principal even came because her birthday was the next day. All the girls got flowery handkerchiefs for favors. Imagine kids today getting excited about cloth handkerchiefs! To this day I'm amazed that my mom ordered an extravagant decorated sheet cake from the Miller and Paine bakery.

That evening grownups came over for Dad's fortieth birthday open house. It was MAJOR. I was still twirling in my party dress, but proud that Dad now held the seat of honor.

Dad vaguely remembers that celebration when he turned forty, but tonight we talked about how forty seems like junior high. "Only once before has there been a World Series matchup between two pitchers past their 37th birthday," according to Sports Illustrated. "This is how Martinez defined the matchup: 'Two old goats out there doing the best they can, and having fun with it.' ...Isn't this grand: Upon Game 6, Martinez, 38, and Pettitte, 37, will have pitched in exactly 1,000 career games between the two of them."

Many evening phone calls I feel like I have 1,000 career games. Dad and I are two old goats doing the best they can. Dad needs a handkerchief, and I need more cake frosting.

© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder

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