Minicozzi’s baseball mantra
Wednesday, March 5
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Mark Minicozzi’s saga is so multidimensional that it can be chronicled in several ways.
One small but illustrative aspect of Minicozzi’s baseball life that I couldn’t wedge into today’s story (http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/sf/mark-minicozzi-travels-improbable-road-back-to-giants?ymd=20140305&content_id=68768810&vkey=news_sf) was a framed poster he mentioned that hangs on his wall at home. It’s a motivational print called “Between The Lines” that depicts an infield, from the center-field vantage point. The photo is black-and-white — except for the infield’s inner-grass portion, which is tinted green.
Printed beneath the photo are these words, which Minicozzi told me he read daily for inspiration:
“When I step between the lines, I become a legend. With my head held high and hat to my chest, the words ‘Oh say! can you see,’ remind me of what I am: A catalyst of tradition, striving to measure up to the heroes from past and present. Through countless hours of dedication and hard work, I live my dream. My heart is filled with true love for this game knowing I, too, could be one of the all-time greats. I exist solely to experience the senses that are unmistakable and sacred to ‘America’s Game.’ The smell of freshly cut grass. The distinct sound of a ball meeting the bat. Sensations of holding the glove to my face as the sun warms the back of my neck. These are the immortal rewards in baseball. This passionate game has created who I am, a member of an elite group: The Boys of Summer. Then I hear those timeless words of ‘PLAY BALL!’ which once again remind me game time has arrived. It has always been at this very moment, between these lines, that I become frozen in time, when I am pure! And now, as the sun paints another beautiful picture of our national pastime, my heart begins to question who the better player will be today. Who has worked harder? Who will be tougher? Who wants it more? No matter who this may be, the humbling game of baseball will neither care nor remember the next time we step Between The Lines.”
Kind of makes you wish you could grab your glove and play in a game, doesn’t it?
— Chris Haft