Travel Journal

Looking Back 48 Years Part #2

(Saturday 14 February 2015) by Rick Clot
So I spent several days in the hospital where I was diagnosed with a blood clot in the kidney. I was discharged with some magic pills and reassigned to a rehab unit with the well wishes of the doctors and nurses. Time spent in a rehab unit is designed to get you back in shape through physical exercise so you can return to the war zone in top shape. While assigned to that unit the adventure began. The baseball field was across the street from my barracks. I went out to watch the post team play a game one night and was convinced I was good enough to play on the team. After snooping around and talking to the right people, I worked my way into a tryout and ultimately made the team. I spent the first month as a bench player but as luck would have it our starting 2nd baseman got injured and the coach had enough confidence in me to move me into the job. I spent the rest of the summer playing 2nd base. Through another stroke of luck the baseball coach was also the head of the rehab unit and the man in charge of making the determination whether or not his personnel were sufficiently rehabbed to go back to Vietnam. Naturally, when my orders came across his desk he'd reject them every time since I was his starting 2nd baseman. So I spent the rest of my Vietnam tour of duty playing ball in Japan. The only sad part of the experience was at the end of the summer we had two weeks left in the season and were in a dogfight for first place. The coach called me into his office and said he had run out of "rejections" and had to make a determination on me. My options were to stay and finish the season but remain in Japan until I discharged the following January or I could be on a flight back to the States the next night. Tough decision but I chose to go home. Total time in Vietnam = 5 months. Thank you baseball.

Until Next Time,
Beisbol been bery bery good to me,
Rick

 


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