I’ll Never Thank the Academy 

One of my past coaches is called Mr. Trainer. Seriously, that is his name.

He was in the Navy.

He is from Boston.

He looks like Captain Piccard.

He listens to classical music in his truck and plays conductor while he drives.

He coached the outfield for 12&U Steel Blue when I was 10. I was on that team. I am an outfielder. I was tiny and sometimes sat the bench because, at that time, this ball club was well known on the east coast for kicking ass and taking names so that we could look you up at the next tournament and kick your ass again. Most of the team had big talent with the attitude and trophy case to match. Our pitcher was a rock star.

Mr. Trainer put up with us all.

Two years later, he retired when the ball-club owner moved to Florida. I moved on to another good club and another great coach.

But he never yelled to me like Mr. Trainer.


As a matter of fact, centerfield is pretty far out, so he had to.

“Where”™s your piss and vinegar, Jessicar?!”

“You gatta be full of piss and vinegar!”

“You gatta have spock!”

(That was Boston for “spark.”)

(That was Sage for life.)

I told him:

I am. And I do.

He was always my favorite.

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