Sunday, November 07, 2004

Birthday Wishes To Jay Tray

Originally uploaded by wonderbread74.
Happy Birthday, bro. Did you think I would forget? Of course not, my birthday is too close to be so forgetful.

Anyway, here's my salute to you:

By defintion, one's birthday is the single day when everyone should dote over you, buy you dinner and bring you gifts. I'm sure you've enjoyed all of these things, but since everything has been about you today, let's talk about me!

John Deere presents "Great Moments in Jason's Life":

The year was 1991 and as the fall season was quickly turning the early evening breeze into a cold chill there stood on a field of dreams Jason and I.

Jason, like a modern-day Babe Ruth--well, maybe his sister--smacked fly balls to me in left field. Most were catchable, lazy flyballs, except for one majestic blast that would live in the memories of sports fans forever.

As if in slow motion, Jason soft-tossed the baseball in front of him. Pulled his hands back and stepped forward into the ball while pivoting his hips with such ferocious torque that I was sure he had torn some sort of reproductive organ.

The ball jumped off his bat with a high and regal arc that led everyone to be believe it was gone.

I quickly read the trajectory of the ball and raced towards the fence. As I reached the dirt warning track, I stuck my right hand out to estimate how close I was to the chain-link fence.

To my surprise, the ball must have been batted down by the wind because it was just about a foot over the fence. I leapt and intercepted the ball just as it passed over the fence. I stole a homerun from Jason.

After that day, Jason's Dad took to kicking him instead of their dog. The constant snickering and repeated replays on SportsCenter forced Jason to relocate to New Mexico for most of the 90's before returning to California a few years back. It wasn't until I "let" him beat me seven straight games in billiards that our friendship was rekindled.

The accompanied picture comes the annual recreation of "The Catch" that the Castro Valley Chamber of Commerce holds every year.

Happy Birthday, Jason.

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