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That’s my grandson, Luke, standing by the car. He’s holding a postcard of some building he saw on vacation, he’s always collecting pictures of buildings. He wanted the license plate in the picture because it’s my car and my name and he thinks I’m really famous.

Unless you grew up in the Bay area, you probably don’t recognize the name Eddie Hart. People from around here still remember it. I played baseball for the San Francisco Giants for nine years, 1959-1968. We weren’t a powerhouse team, but in 1962 we managed it make it to the World Series. It was a great experience except we lost the final game to those damn Yankees.

I always played left field, Willie Mays was over in center. Willie was something else. He overshadowed everybody but I like to think I wasn’t too bad. In fact, one year, 1966, I even went to the All-Star game.

I don’t want to get too carried away here. I wasn’t Hall of Fame material like Willie, but I had a good solid career and followed my active playing days with a few years of coaching before retiring from the game for good.

I want to get back to Luke because he’s the point of all this. He idolizes me, always telling his friends about how great I am, showing them my gloves and scrapbooks. He says he wants to play baseball, too, and be just like me. Of course that’s a compliment, but I hope he stops and thinks about it.

“You can be anything you want” isn’t entirely true but I tell him to act as though it is. You want to play ball? Go ahead and be the best damn player you can be. You want to teach, be a doctor, be in the movies? Go ahead and follow that star.

But I also said, Don’t forget about those all those pictures of buildings you’ve got in your bedroom–buildings of every size and shape. Must be a reason you like collecting them and drawing them. Might be worth thinking about.

Story by Will Conway

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