Eddie LeonDecember 18, 2006
If I’m going to have gods in my life–that is, if I’m going to try to draw strength and a sense of wonder and mystery and the infinite beyond my everyday existence in this concrete, finite, gonna-die world, the gods are going to have to be capable of a wider embrace than the constricting, suffocating girdle of perfection. I’m not praying to perfection. I’ve tried that before in many different half-assed ways and it doesn’t work for me. I need hundreds of gods, not just one perfect god glaring down on each of my mistake-filled days, turning them into guilt-ridden cringes. I need gods that are fallible, even at times forgettable, nothing and no one outside their embrace.
I need, among others, Eddie Leon, posing in a Chicago White Sox uniform while the crooked, cut-off, erroneous card he is posing on identifies him as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals and the back of the card declares he is neither a White Sox nor a Cardinal but a New York Yankee. The back of the card scripture also points out that this fallible (lifetime average: .236), forgettable (Eduardo Antonio Leon?) god “has been among Chisox’ leaders in Sacrifices in ’73 & ’74.”
Among the leaders? On a single team? In bunts? I don’t know how you could say any less about a guy without saying nothing at all. It suggests that when the White Sox really needed some bench guy of slight build and twitchy middle infielder reflexes to go up there and lay down a bunt, they looked first to somebody other than Eddie Leon, but if their top bunting specialist was for some reason otherwise occupied (perhaps he’d been entrusted with the more important task of going into the clubhouse to fetch a cold drink for one of the RBI guys such as Dick Allen or Beltin’ Bill Melton), well, then it was Eddie Leon’s time to go up there and intentionally make an out by tapping the ball as softly as possible.
Or, to put it another way, using the capitalization style of the holy back-of-the-card texts, then it was time for Eddie Leon to Sacrifice. To Make Sacred. And if a fallible, forgettable guy like Eddie Leon in the wrong uniform on a defective card is capable of not only being sacred but making sacred, then who in our own damaged world is beyond the reach of hope?