Baseball’s white rabbit
illustration: Paul Windle
By Paul Flannery
Bill Lee is late. There are sixteen kids, their parents, and a man named Miro who is running for mayor waiting for him on a Little League baseball field in Burlington, Vermont. The weather is unusually cold for October, and now it’s starting to rain.
Lee’s baseball life is equal parts inspiration and cautionary tale. During his fourteen-year run in the big leagues, he survived with little more than guile and a sinking fastball, and then proceeded to blow up his career for a principle. Exiled from professional baseball almost three decades ago, Lee now haunts a thousand small ballparks around the world. Burlington is one more stop on his never-ending tour.
Miro Weinberger is Lee’s catcher. Together they make up the battery for the Burlington Cardinals in the Vermont Senior Men’s Baseball League. The 64-year-old Lee led them to the championship this past season, but the most memorable game for Weinberger was a 14-inning affair in which Lee threw more than 200 pitches. Weinberger has organized a clinic as part of his mayoral campaign. Just as it’s starting to look hopeless, the Nissan Pathfinder comes barreling into the parking lot.
so, this is happening.