NEW YORK—A Shane Victorino popout caught by Cubs second-baseman Ryan Theriot this past September compelled sportswriter Roger Angell to write a 1,500-word essay about his relationship with his father. "He hobbled up to the batter's box, the bat his crutch, his only means of support, the one thing in this world that can make you look like both a hero and a fool, and he uncoiled his muscles in a mechanically sound swing not unlike the one he produced last night and the night before," Angell wrote in his essay entitled Pine-Tar Heart. "And from that mighty cut, a white egg tumbled from the heavens back into its safe leather nest, resistant to flying away and leaving the men who love it and need it. Only in baseball and fatherhood can a swing so utterly well-intended and so utterly perfectly orchestrated fail so utterly in its attempt to produce the desired results." The essay will appear in Angell's forthcoming compilation of baseball writings, Diamonds Are Forever, which also includes a novella that compares every botched double play from the 2006 season to his recent divorce.
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