By ice rivers
Mr. Baseball remained in his coma for months.
It was the bottom of the ninth and his team was behind by 100 runs and there were two out and two strikes on Mr. Baseball. One more strike and he was out.
That was the situation the last time that I visited him at the Community hospital.
Time passed. Mr. Baseball kept fouling off pitches, his faithful loving wife Rosie by his side.
Rosie figured that maybe things would improve if they moved Baseball to his home ball park. Still in his coma, Mr. Baseball was transported to his home.
His home plate was far away from my homeplate.
We didn't visit in person, overwhelmed as were with our own ballgame.
When he got home, minus a few tubes and some drugs that hadn't worked, Mr Baseball out of nowhere, hit a homerun. He came out of the coma but remained bedridden.
We didn't know about the rally, we had left the game a little early.
We knew that he was home and we had his phone number. One day, Lynn called the number and Rosie answered.
The rally was still going on. Therapists were pitching now and Mr. Baseball continued to swing away always encouraged by Rosie who was as encouraged as she was encouraging. She told Lynn that a speech therapist was pitching at the moment. She whispered to Mr. Baseball that Lynn was on the phone. He understood; another base hit. Rosie put the phone up to Mr. Baseball's face. Lynn said "Hello, Mr. Baseball."
Lynn's 'hello' was like a hanging curve ball. Mr. Baseball took a mighty swing and said in a slow, soft, labored voice "Hi Lynn."
Home run. Grand slam.
Rosie took the phone back and explained the progress Baseball had been making.
He was scoring on the coma. His therapists were amazed.
Meanwhile he had developed cancer.
It was the cancer, not the coma that finally got him.
We went to the funeral. Mr. Baseball looked good almost as good as he looked the time he caught a foul ball barehanded at Frontier Field. In my dreams, he shows up at his funeral and he, Rosie, Lynn and I go off to dinner as if nuthin' had happened. He even makes fun of me for imagining that everything wasn't perfect.
We paid our condolences to Rosie.
A week later, we got a package in the mail with Mr. Baseball's address as the return.
In the package was the fiber optic bear.