Jerry Kramer '71 | July 28, 2015
Somewhere around the time I became a teenager in the summer of 1962, I attended an Old-Timers’ game at Memorial Stadium in my hometown of Baltimore. The only thing I remember about it was my puzzlement at the way the old-timers ran the bases. They looked odd, almost comical, swaying left and right. Like ducks, I thought.
Now, more than half a century later, I understand that arthritis was the probable cause of the peculiar locomotion. Now the arthritic duck is me. I have two artificial hips, for which I am grateful every day. Before I got them, I had the mobility of the Tin Man — rusted tight until Dorothy grabbed an oil can and lubricated him for the trip to Oz.
And now I can tell the story of my own trip to a land of wonders. In January, while my neighbors in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., were suffering through another snowstorm during the interminable winter, I was stepping off a bus from the Sarasota airport into the sunshine drenching the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex, part of the Florida spring-training home of the Baltimore Orioles.
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