Jose MoralesSeptember 16, 2006
I started kindergarten the same year Jose Morales reached the major leagues, 1973, and I was expelled from boarding school with one month left in my senior year in 1985, the year after Jose Morales’ quietly competent, useful career as a right-handed bat-for-hire concluded. That summer, after taking and passing a GED exam, I moved to Cape Cod to live with my grandfather, who got me a job at a gas station where I was required to wear a shirt very similar to the one poking out from under Jose Morales’ uniform. I pumped gas, washed windows, checked oil. People asked me about problems with their cars and I had to tell them I knew nothing about cars. I didn’t even know how to drive. Also, people kept swerving into the station, rolling down their windows, and shouting at me that they were lost. But I didn’t know how to get anywhere except from my grandfather’s house to the gas station and back, and I probably couldn’t have articulated even that path with any clarity. But if anyone had ever screeched to a halt by the pumps needing to know who owned the single-season major league record for pinch hits, I could have helped. Jose Morales, I would have declared, uselessness briefly abating.