Rocco and the World Series
So here I am at work trying not to watch the clock. For years my dream has been to actually go to a World Series game. Tonight, that comes true. Not only is it the world series but it features my now beloved Tampa Bay Rays. I was raised a Yankees fan, and still very much am, but the past six years my allegiance has been swaying to the Rays. One player in particular. Rocco Baldelli. I became a fan of his in early 2002 when I began reading about him in the minor leagues. He became the starting center fielder in 2003 at the age of 21. I watched his first major league hit (a double of Pedro Martinez), personally saw him homer against the Giants and marveled when he threw out Melky Cabrera at the plate from center field. Now, you can easily go online and find stories about Rocco and what has happened to him. No need for me to go into detail here. In short, it was found this spring that Rocco suffers from a mitochondrial disorder that does not let his muscles get enough energy or recover from fatigue. Apparently this has what has been the root of his many ailments over the past six seasons. He has made huge strides in making it back to the field this season and deemed worthy enough to be put on the post-season roster. Tonight I get to see this brave young man take the field in his first world series appearance. It may be his last. Who knows. I have spoken in other postings about painting baseball pictures. Well Rocco is the subject of my next one. I prepared this piece when he was sidelined indefinitely this spring. Since making it back, I have re-thought the pose a bit and wanted it to be a bit more uplifting and am now working on that but in the meantime, here is the original comp of Rocco.