As an antidote to my vitriol from this morning, I wanted to share this Star-Ledger story on blind Yankee season ticket holder Jane Lang. Mrs. Lang hales from my home town of Morris Plains, New Jersey, and I remember her coming to my school to give presentations on the Seeing Eye (which was founded in neighboring Morristown) when I was in elementary school. Mrs. Lang has long been an important role model in our community and is a die-hard sports fan (here’s a two-year-old Times article on her trips to see the Rangers at Madison Square Garden). Mrs. Lang can often be seen sitting next to Harlan Chamberlain in the special-needs seating behind home plate (where she’s protected from foul balls by the netting) and was brought upstairs earlier this year to pull the countdown lever. For all of my cynicism about the Yankees organization, the genuine love of the game of fans such as Jane Lang continues to inspire me.
Also, those of you who actually sat through both games the last two nights likely noticed that a fan in the right field bleachers caught home runs in both games. That was not entirely a coincidence. The fan in question is Zack Hample, a Mets fan and Manhattan native who has “snagged” more than 3,700 baseballs and written a book how to do it. Hample has a blog on MLB.com, and you can read his account of the last two nights here and here. Hample is one of the more unusual affirmations of my belief that it’s possible to get better at anything if you work hard enough at it.