Mets’ R.A. Dickey and the gift of perspective

Friday night’s seventh inning notwithstanding, R.A. Dickey is officially my favorite New York Met.

Not only was the man an English major in college — like me — but his career reboot is happening for him now, at age 35. A recent article at MLB Fanhouse summed it up perfectly: his entire career has been like The Odyssey. Here he is, starting over, perhaps for a long time, and maybe finally finding himself (or at least, finding success and confidence on the mound) at age 35, largely the result of re-inventing himself a few years earlier as a knuckleballer.

It’s a story I can entirely relate to. At age 37 (and shortly, it will be 38), I still often wonder what I’ll be when I grow up. A decade after leaving sportswriting full-time, I’m still looking for my own knuckleball, the pitch to re-invent my career, a way to re-boot to my season, or at least find some profession that will give me satisfaction, confidence, and self-worth.

Perhaps I’ll never find it, the way R.A. Dickey has for these last two magical months. I’m blessed with a radiant wife and an exuberant nearly-4-year-old son, a warm home with a roof over my head, a purring cat, and relatively healthy parents. These are real things. And even if you don’t have the career you thought you would at 21 years old, just merely seeing and rooting for someone who finally gains success in the second half of his 30s gives you both hope and perspective.

That’s why R.A. Dickey is my favorite Met.

(published concurrently at my baseball blog, Clutch Bingles)

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