Content excerpt

The Diamond is Forever (for PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER magazine)

By Robin Dorman (

Entering wondrous old Connie Mack I become overpowered by a sort of intoxication, inhaling, through the din of the chatter, stadium smells of hot dogs, peanuts freshly roasted and gigantic soft pretzels smothered with mustard. There is a religious feeling that envelops the place, with its noble ancient dust of games immemorial. Red caps are everywhere as I am carried along the passageways at a maddening pace. My father takes gargantuan strides, and I run to keep pace. Finally, emerging out of the tunnel, there before me is the most vivid green field, a green that ravishes me and stirs up my blood.

My mother is mooning over Sandy Koufax. So glamorous is this Jewish boy from Besonhurst, this dashing young man, a hero to the world. A man who actually sacrifices pitching a World Series on Yom Kippur. This sheyn punim, in my mother's words, this pretty face, is one of ours. She can't stop. She, too, loves the Phils, but on this night she loves Sandy more.

...The players come and go, the first few innings moving along in some mythical time. The southpaw from Besonhurst is hurling quite a game. His fastball flares, zooms, becomes invisible; his curve seduces as it kisses the corners of the plate, tormenting the hitters--the white hot blazer, the moving arabesque of the curve, the extraordinary precision all working brutally against the Phils. In the fourth, Allen gets a walk. Someone yells out, “A walk’s as good as a hit.” Then to my horror, as he sprints along the basepath trying to steal second, he is safely thrown out. Gasps fill old Connie Mack. And then slowly, imperceptibly, I, too, am under an enchantment; a Koufaxian spell has been cast, and I am in awe of the ineffably beautiful, but nevertheless tragic, performance. The possibility of a no-hitter hovers.


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