It’s been a long time since Washington, DC has seen a baseball penant.
I dream of retirement, a time when financial earning seems less necessary and the vain pursuits of glory have passed.
There’s a long way to go still, but those greener pastures sit in my mind.
I will always work when that time comes. In fact, I know what those three retirement jobs are already…
Usher at My Local Baseball Stadium
In the spring of 2008, I published the 101 Things I Want to Do Before I Die. The 101 List was first popularized locally by AOL Vice Chair and sports magnate Ted Leonsis. It’s such a great exercise in visioning, plus I hadn’t checked off hits on the list in a long time, so I decided to revisit the list before the new year starts.
Of the 101 things, I have completed 15 in the past 3 1/2 years. At this rate I should be done by the time, I’m 60! I did take the opportunity to revise a few uncompleted items on the list, which are noted with the word new.
What are some of your lifetime goals?
1) Feel and know true love: Completed: Having Soleil has changed and deepened my concept of love forever. I know Caitlin feels the same.
2) Give true love without thought for self: Completed: The sacrifices you make for a child are unbelievable, things you would never imagine.
3) Have no relative die with any things left to be said between us
4) New: Live to hold a grandchild in my hands.
5) See my wife with Mikimoto pearls dripping from her body
6) Make sure my family has no financial strain
7) Go on a date every week with my wife (so long as we are in the same city)
8) Have a child, girl or boy. Completed: Soleil was born on October 29, 2010.
9) Adopt a child
10) Sponsor an extended family retreat
11) Create a legacy at Georgetown University
12) Help my niece at that time (whatever it is) when she needs me
13) Do another leg of the baseball tour with my Dad
14) Spend a week vacation with my sister and her family. Completed: June, 2011 in the Berkshires.
15) Help one Fortune 500 really get social media right: Completed: In 2011, I helped Google relaunch its Nonprofit offering with a successful blogger event and trained a team of Procter & Gamble brand managers on social media.
16) Publish another business book Completed: Welcome to the Fifth Estate was published May, 2011. Marketing in the Round will be published in May, 2012.
17) Ride motorcycles again. Completed: I owned a Ducati GT1000 from Fall, 2008 – Spring, 2011.
18) Use my powers to make a major course difference for at least one charitable effort
19) Publish a great science fiction novel
20) New: Ride a bicycle for 100 miles
You can see the whole 101 items here. What are some of your dreams?
The 2010 Major League Baseball playoffs begin today. For the first time in their 127 year history, the Philadelphia Phillies enter the postseason with the best record in baseball. Still no one knows who will win the World Series with that October Chill in the year…
It’s my favorite sports season! Because baseball is the best sport! To celebrate, I put together a pictoral of some of my favorite baseball shots that I have taken over the past few years. I hope you enjoy, some are high quality, others tell a story like Barry Bonds’ 750th homer.
One of my favorite books of all time remains Turgenev’s incredibly haunting Fathers & Sons. The book, “concerns the inevitable conflict between generations and between the values of traditionalists and intellectuals.” The crazy stories of generational conflict and care between men, unconquerable romantic love, and the constant strife between nihilism and traditional values reminds me of my 20s. My Dad and I had some tough times. Ironically, the only thing that kept our tenuous relationship in place was a third kind of love, the love of the baseball diamond.
With the Phillies going deep into the playoffs this year, it’s been a joy talking baseball on the phone with him. A native Philadelphian, I grew up watching the Phillies of the 80s right behind first base where Pete Rose held court, in large part because my Dad always took me to the games. They won their first World Series back then, ending a 97 year franchise drubbing.
He even took me to a World Series game in 1983. It was Game 4 when the Orioles beat the Phillies Ace Richard Denny in a relatively tight game that pretty much sealed the series for Ripken and company.
Later in the 90s when I was living a questionable life, the Phillies sucked (sans the ‘93 World Series campaign). My Dad and I could barely talk, but when we did it was always awkward until the conversation turned to baseball. The words would come easier, and our admiration for the sport kept the calls coming.
As the 90s waned and I began to change, we had our amends. Watching me go through that period was tough for him. He tells me now that he couldn’t really talk to or help me, and he often didn’t want to know what I was doing…It was too painful.
But baseball was the bridge during that present, and to the future of now. Thank God, we had a common bond; one that he, too, shared with his father through his twenties in the late 60s and early 70s. My Dad was even an usher at Dodgers stadium in the 60s! I was raised on Sandy Koufax stories!
Male love — particularly the father and son relationship — is often a quiet, unspoken one. Stoic in nature, I know my pop had a hard time demonstrating love through words or hugs, yet his care for me was undying. His actions over the past 37 years have demonstrated that.
Today, baseball is still a strong undercurrent in our relationship. For his 60th birthday, my sister and I sent him to Fenway Park for his first trip to that grand daddy of a stadium. I also took him to his first game at Yankee Stadium. That’s why last year’s surprise World Series win was extra special, and if the Phillies get back to the series for a repeat attempt, I am going to try and get my Dad to one of the games. My way of saying thanks.
And for me, like the generations before me, baseball is still religion. I go to at least seven games a year, and have been to roughly 75% of the League’s stadiums (I’ll get to the parks in Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, St.Louis, and Tampa Bay before I leave this world). Here are pictures from this year’s games. Heck, even the last time I saw my Mom in Phoenix, we went to a spring training game.
It’s not just baseball for me, or for the Livingstons in general. It’s more than that, and thus, the diamond will always have a special place in my heart. Go Phillies!