Friday August 2nd, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL
In my lifetime of being an outsider, I’ve come to know the feeling very well. It’s unmistakable. Time after time in situation after situation, I’ve felt like the odd man out and it’s rarely a pleasant experience. I know everyone has felt that way at some point, but with me it happens a lot more.
From my earliest memories, I’ve felt like I was the exception. My grandparents sat me down as a very young child and told me my parental situation and how they were raising me instead of an orphanage but if I screwed up they would send me away. I found myself on the wrong end of the freak factor from Jump Street, and it snowballed from there. What’s ‘normal’? It hasn’t been me.
Being left handed is a perfect example. Nobody else in my immediate family is left handed, and that meant nobody related to my plight. I got no sympathy. Any left hander knows this is a righty world, and that’s just how it is. We’re the unrecognized minority, and we are constantly ignored.
Everything from scissors to can openers to classroom desks in school are not made with a lefty in mind, and never have been. We make up about 10% of the population, but it’s one of the very few things in life that is truly fair in that we’re spread equally everywhere. Rich and poor, white and black, Jew and gentile, male and female – left handedness is located somewhere in the mix.
Trying to find a baseball glove as a kid was especially difficult. Lefty gloves weren’t nearly as plentiful as they are today, and it was a real issue. The only place lefties are coveted in baseball is as pitchers, and that’s what I wanted to be. They’ll also let us play first base or in the outfield, but that’s about it. It’s discrimination plain and simple, but who’s going to champion our cause?
I don’t see the ‘Million Lefty March’ happening any time soon, and in this world of hyper thin skin and political correctness to the point of insanity that surprises me quite honestly. I’d think a group of left handed activists would have sprung up by now looking to overcome our sufferage.
They put handicapped parking spaces absolutely everywhere, so why aren’t there lefty friendly products as well? Ever try to rent a pair of left handed golf clubs? How about buying a guitar of any kind? Good luck. In the game jai alai there are NO left handed players whatsoever. See if the mighty powers that be would allow leaving some other entire group out of anything these days.
Have you ever seen a left handed violinist in a symphony orchestra? There aren’t any. Again, it screams of persecution but nobody cares – except maybe the aspiring left handed violinist, golfer or jai alai player. Can your kid become president? Sure - but never ever a left handed shortstop.
This has always been a nipple twister for me, and I think someone needs to be the Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson for left handers. Every time there’s a new product that lefties have trouble with I want to see that person on TV bitching and moaning how we’ve been kept down one more time.
Since lefties make up 10% of the population, I want to see 10% of baseball games played with a left handed bent. Instead of running bases as they always have, I want to have third base as the one people run to first and have runners advance clockwise. Why hasn’t this ever been done?
It would be the exact same rules, but there would have to be left handed catchers and infielders and it would be fair for a change. But it won’t change, and life is not fair. It never was, and never will be – at least not here. Somewhere there’s a planet of lefties, and I’d love to move there soon.