One of the pleasures of winter is a crystal clear sky revealing the sparkling stars in all their glory. On a walk this evening, I got to thinking how cool it would be to reconfigure the sky with baseball constellations.
Citing their heroes and legends, the ancient Greeks affixed names to the many patterns in the sky: Pegasus, the winged horse, Cassiopeia, the queen of unrivaled beauty, and Taurus the bull, to name a few.
Good for the Greeks. But just because they came up with the idea doesn’t mean we have to stick with what they gave us. If we can rename Enron Field after a brand of orange juice, who’s to say we can’t rename a few points of light over our heads?
If it were up to me, I’d place Babe Ruth first in the heavens. I’d put him where Orion is tonight, commanding the center of the sky. He’d be at the plate, pointing his bat toward the center field, calling his shot.
Spikes flashing, Ty Cobb would come tearing at crooked angle into the North Star. I’d figure out a way to extend the Gemini to represent Tinker, Evers and Chance
I’d look low on the horizon near Draco for Shoeless Joe Jackson, dispatched to the edges of baseball’s universe after the Black Sox scandal.
The Pleiades – the Seven Sisters to the Greeks and one of the smallest but most distinctive sights in the sky – would become the diminutive pinch hitter Eddie Gaedel.
Willie Mays would be out there deep, cap flying as he hauls in an impossibly long drive toward Alpha Centauri off the bat of Vic Wertz. (You didn’t expect me not to memorialize one of the Indians’ most painful memories, did you?)
This post could be a mere flight of fancy, or maybe it’s a sign that I truly need help. Regardless, the approach of each baseball season gives us the freedom to dream and to imagine all the good the year can bring. I’ll be looking to the stars again in 2012, and not just for the fantasy draft.