Valley Summers And Chicago Autumns

MURPHYOnce upon a time, there was a girl named Lizzy, who loved two baseball teams very much. The first team was in her own humble home town, bringing joy to all who lived there year after year (especially to Lizzy). One summer, a young ballplayer named Daniel Murphy traveled far from his native land to play on the other-side-of-the-mountain for Lizzy’s teams fiercest rival. All season long, Daniel Murphy punished his opponents with bat and glove. Under the sinister charge of Coach Cabbage-Head, the rivals finished their regular season at the top of the standings, and Daniel Murphy was crowned king among all the league’s players.

Even though Lizzy’s team suffered at the hands of the rivals (and especially Daniel Murphy), they were not afraid when it became clear who they would face in the postseason’s second round. Thus followed a battle most bitterly fought. And lo! On the bats of Frederick-The-Avenger and he-whose-name-was-Sweet,on the arms of a Bulldog and a little-engine-who-did, Lizzy’s team emerged victorious. In the decisive game, the player known as Daniel Murphy came near an achievement known as a “cycle”, falling short only by a home run. He accounted for one offensive out, that being recorded by the lowly (but not so lowly!) pitcher Rollins… David to Daniel’s Goliath. And Lizzy knew great gladness.

Many years later, in the golden height of autumn, Lizzy’s attention was fixed on the other team she loved. They played in a city to the far north, but they were none the less close to Lizzy’s heart. This year, they were fighting for an honor that had long (long, long, long) eluded them. Those whose undying devotion bound them to the team felt the feathers of hope brushing them, and there was much joy. And, though no force of heaven or earth has yet succeeded in destroying the devotion or the hope, soon the joy would disappear. And Lizzy’s heart grew sad with all the rest. But she saw the demise of the team-she-loved with different eyes than many of her fellows. For Lizzy recognized one of the foes who was responsible for the taking-of-the-joy.

The player called Daniel Murphy had long since flown from the rivals on the-other-side-of-the-mountain, aligning himself with the team-who-bows-to-the-apple, in the city that is famed for its sleeplessness. And Lizzy had reason to wish that the played called Daniel Murphy played for any other team in the world, and so did all who followed the team that she loved.

Few can know the sting that Lizzy felt as she watched the player called Daniel Murphy mortify her beloved. But out of the destruction, one memory shone pearl-like in Lizzy’s memories. She wondered whether the boys who played for the other-team-she-loved that summer long ago remembered. She wondered whether the lowly (but not so lowly!) pitcher Rollins cherished the recollection like she did. By the strength of his arm, the player called Daniel Murphy was once forced to take a seat. Such are the treasures that can never be taken from us.

The team Lizzy loved in that city to the north was destined to wait… again. But it was better this time. Lizzy was proud of the team. She had sweet memories that would warm her throughout the oncoming winter. And most important of all, the hope was stronger than ever.

6 thoughts on “Valley Summers And Chicago Autumns

  1. Beautiful, Lizzy! And I had no idea Murphy was once playing over the mountain from you. Beautiful season, with promised fruit showing and to come. 🙂


  2. I thought of you and all the Kipps when the Cubs bowed out. Nicely done, and I remember Daniel Murphy (well, okay, I looked it up on my old score cards) playing in a 17 inning playoff game in Luray in 2004 (I believe) in which Rebel hearts were broken.


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