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General Baseball

End of July

A lot of people die every day. I didn’t know exactly what a lot was, so I looked it up and wasn’t satisfied. But if you trust the net, at least somewhere between 36,ooo and 37,000 people die every day.

So why do I write about the “End of July” as if it was more important than another day, if so many perish? Sometimes, there are people that transcend, even if for a moment, that can inspire as we make our way through this murky progression of trying to understand why we keep our heads on straight while spinning around a yellow sun that spins around a galaxy that the most enormous brain can only begin to comprehend.

The two people I want to write a requiem for each are far past needing introduction. However, they deserve recognition for making a place that didn’t exist prior to their effort.

Nichelle Nichols is a personal hero for so many people. She was Lieutenant Ohura on Star Trek, The Original series, and played a role with class and consideration that you could be smart, more qualified than any man, and a translator. The (in)famous kiss between her and Kirk was something that just could not have happened without the force of will that was Gene Roddenberry. Thank goodness that they broke down that door.

Let’s talk about Bill Russell. He was arguably the greatest player in the NBA. Don’t try to break it down more than the championships, because that is how we measure the reason why we have teams. I love Kareem, The Doctor, Wilt, and MJ, and Kobe, and Magic, and Lebron, and KD, and Dame, and Petro, and AI, and Worthy, Stockton, Malone, and Nash, and Pistol, and I can go on forever because I love basketball.

We lost a wonderful actress today, who made the world a much more inviting place because as a young person I saw a black woman in a position of authority. She taught me I could look to her as a source of truth, by the fact that she spoke languages and helped me understand them. I do not think that people really understand how profound that role, as a translator was, to young people.

We lost a tree. Russell was kind, and considerate, and was a philosopher. He evaluated his worth in how he elevated the people he played with. And all I can say to that is that whenever a Yankees fan says “count the ringz”, you better check yourself.

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