When Baseball Was All The World To Me
by Phillip Hoose
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Don Larsen was by far the biggest human being I had ever seen. He wore a loose-fitting brown suit with pants whose creases seemed to converge somewhere over my head. After he greeted my Dad with a firm handshake and my Mom with a warm smile, he looked down at me. I offered him my hand. Instead, he wrapped his arms around me and pulled my head into his stomach. He seemed glad to see me. He asked me if I would like to meet a few of the Yankees. I could barely answer him.
The New York Yankees were easy to spot: They were the young men scattered about the hotel lobby wearing suits and ties and shiny shoes. They looked as if they had just come back from church and they were waiting around for something to happen. They looked strange without billed caps-I had never thought of them as having hair. Don took me around and introduced me. Johnny Kucks, a pitcher nearly as big as Don, also gave me a hug. Whitey Ford bent down to my level and asked me what position I played. "Well, I want to be a pitcher," I stammered. He told me not to try to throw a curve too soon.
Walker & Company, 2006