Monday, March 21, 2016

Most Popular Article of the Week: A Different Sense of the Game: Baseball Through the Eyes of the Blind

I would like to introduce you to our newest writer, his name is Benny Tomko. This is his introductory article. He would have posted it himself but we had some issues with getting him signed up, Google can make things awfully difficult at times. So without further delay I introduce you to the latest writer in the stable of writers we are building here, Mr. Benny Tomko.

Please comment and welcome him to the site and if you want to follow him on Twitter follow @BennyTomko.

The crack of the bat, the smell of fresh cut grass. These are things that baseball fans with eyesight tend to take for granted. I should know, I was a part of that demographic at one point in my life. I played baseball, catcher, and all I ever wanted to do was wear the pinstripes of the Bronx Bombers. But, the Man upstairs had different ideas. On October 31, 1996, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in the portion of the brain that controls eyesight (occipital lobe). Ultimately, I was blessed enough to be cancer free, but, would lose my eyesight as a result. This, however, would not remove my passion for the game

The last game that I attended with 20/15 vision was game two of the 1996 World Series. Greg Maddux pitched an absolute gem against my boys, in route to a 4-0 shout out. All told, he threw 86 pitches, and, gave up four hits, none of which were particularly hit hard. I remember being so frustrated with the outcome that I was unable to appreciate my surroundings. It took the gleamy eyes of my grandfather, Sparky, to remind me just exactly where we were; Yankee Stadium. If I knew then what I know now, I would have soaked it up just a little bit more.

These days, going to the ballpark is a bit different then it used to be, but that's OK. Now, I take my cane, radio and headphones, and attend the game with someone that I can communicate throughout the game, as to not be "in the dark". I always used to tease others when I saw them at a major-league baseball game with a radio and headphones. I thought, "the game is right in front of you, why do you need someone to tell you what's going on?" Now, I completely understand, and, feel kind of bad about the Smack I used to talk about others. I guess it's the same sense of humor that is used when I used to tease people about going bald, and now, I am. Karma is a funny, funny beast.

Now, I am a degree holder, husband, father and still head over heels for my New York Yankees. I have been able to convey my passion for baseball upon those closest to me. My wife never gave a second thought to the game of baseball, but since she has met me, it's a completely different story. I am so blessed to still be able to appreciate the game that I so love. And now, I get to write about it every day.

I look forward to providing a unique commentary on the game that is the backbone of our great nation. Thank you, Daniel. Put me in, coach, I'm ready to play 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)