Insightfulness through the memories of sports 

Matter of Opinion

By Ray Conner

Sometimes expressing what’s on your mind can prove to be insightful. Take me for example, I’m from New York so I have an opinion on everything. Right or wrong it’s still my opinion. One of my statements I make is, “I may not always be right, but I am never wrong! You can disagree with me if you want to be wrong.”

I’ve been around the world of sports for a very long time. Next year I’ll have been involved with sports for close to 60 years. Yeah, you can do the math, I’ll be 65 on my next birthday. I started playing baseball at the tender age of five. Each summer I would look forward to the time it was to get your parents to sign me up. In my first year of getting signed up, was when I learned my middle name for the very first time. Back then you had to have all three names to sign up. I remember asking my parents how they chose that name for the middle of my name. I was told it was the middle name of my grandfather on my mother’s side. I accepted it and never looked back. Still proud to have the middle name Audrick.

Back then when you were not playing organized baseball, you played pick-up games from sun up to sundown. When the streetlights came on the game was over and we’d pick up the next day. I usually had the farthest to ride my bike back home and to this day I would reflect on the game played. How did I play? Did I do everything I could to be successful? Was there something that happened along the way that would be cemented in my memories to be pulled out at a later date? I did warn you there would be some insight. 

Of course there were always things that I could have done better, after all, the game of life and the game of baseball was a learning experience. Over the following years, the players would change as older players stopped coming around and it was left up to the ones still playing to find new players. If we could not get the numbers to play a game we’d then switch to other sports. We played basketball, football, we’d race bikes, we occupied our time because we were building friendships. Some of these with the help of social media have been rekindled and the memories were then pulled from those memory banks I spoke of earlier.

As I’m putting this to paper, well computer actually, then transferred to the newspaper, there is a fondness of memories of all those people that came through my life these past 59 years. There have been many and I would not change a thing. From the teammates, to the coaches, to the friends that would just come watch and of course my parents, and the rest of my family.  The thrill of being able to take part in this life has been one that I will take to my grave with a smile and a remembrance that will cling to this old athlete. I just used the term” has been”, I guess in this time of life I have to consider myself a “has been”. A has been the greatest walk down memory lane. That’s a Matter of Opinion.