I meant to round out my shocking littering exposé with discussion of a baseball found among the other items of discard dropped on our streets like Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumbs. It was scabbed gray and coarse from asphalt ballrash, and the red seams were raised and hard from cycles of wet and dry. I rolled it in my fingertips while contemplating the grip of various fastballs, the splitter and the knuckler. I thought about how “a baseball” was at the center of great moments in the game:

A baseball… hit by Carlton Fisk
A baseball… caught by Willie Mays
A baseball… thrown by Don Larsen

Baseballs have also been in the middle of infamous moments:

A baseball… missed by Bill Buckner
A baseball… thrown by Jack Hamilton
A baseball… crushed into summer nights of our imagination by Jose Canseco or Mark McGuire or Sammy Sosa or Barry Bonds… before the illusion was exposed.