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Grant's Tomb: You can't always get what you want

April 13, 2001|By CHRIS GRANT, Sports Editor

I once threw a guy out at third base.

It was a pretty decent play on my part. A hard hit ground ball rocketed toward me in right field, I scooped it up and threw a rope to third base. They guy was out by inches. It was a throw that would have made Dwight Evans proud and yet that fine display of athleticism was never in the local newspaper. I can't believe it, can you?

I know, I know, you are all shocked. What you must be saying to yourselves, this kid made a spectacular play and didn't even get his name in the paper. It's true and the uproar it caused nearly divided my family.

The play happened sometime during the middle of my first Little League season. The season hadn't been going so well. I had a couple of hits, but mostly I just had a lot of strikeouts and errors. I was even considering giving up on what appeared to be a promising baseball career. Then I made what has been come to be known as "the play."


I scanned the paper for the next two or three days looking for my name. It didn't have to be much, just some sort of mention or my athletic prowess. Alas, it never came.

My father laughed at me. "Why do you think they're going to put your name in the paper?" He asked me each time I would scan the local sports section, looking for my name.

"Because I made a great play," I told him.

Between chuckles he replied, "Son, not everyone gets to have their name in the paper."

I wasn't hearing any of it. After three consecutive days of non-publicity I decided to take things into my own hands. First I approached my mom. I told her about just what I'd done and asked if maybe she couldn't make a few calls. She refused. I wasn't about to give up and I made the call myself.

Someone at the local paper answered when I called. I didn't get the person's name, but that didn't matter, and in my best adult voice I asked the person, "I was wondering why there was no press coverage of the Diboll Little League two days ago?"

He replied that the paper was a small one and didn't have enough people to cover all the local events. He told me they did the best they could.

As a burgeoning superstar I wasn't having any of it. I immediately launched into an expletive-laden tirade. I told the man that they were missing some of the best athletics in the county and I asked him if he had a personal vendetta against Diboll.

He replied that he was from Dallas and again they were doing the best they could.

I still did not believe him and before hanging up I told him that his newspaper was not fit to line my bird cage and the fact was I didn't have a bird cage to line.

Feeling unsatisfied, I again went to my parents to see how I could get myself some publicity. Again all they did was laugh at me.

Thus I had to formulate another plan. This time I took the money I had saved mowing lawns and called a local public relations firm. I told them I had some cash and I needed a bit of PR. Unfortunately I didn't have anywhere near enough money and my attempts at getting my own publicist quickly ended.

The whole thing eventually fizzled out. I got tired of making threatening phone calls to the local newspaper when I realized they were never going to give me the fanfare I deserved. I got over the whole incident a couple of weeks later when I blasted a two-run single to give our team a much-needed win. I didn't get in the paper that time, either.

I guess some people are born to see their names in lights and other aren't. Unfortunately some of us never quite figure that out.

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