Sports Law Blog
All things legal relating
to the sports world...
Monday, August 18, 2014
 
To the man who taught me the infield fly rule

My father, Lawrence Wasserman, passed away July 10, at age 85. A friend once told me that losing a parent is when you really become an adult; I kind of believe that. I just ended shloshim, the 30-day period of mourning in the Jewish faith, so it seemed a good time to post this.

My dad was a huge baseball fan. He somehow became a Yankees fan in 1930s/1940s Brooklyn, an interesting choice that probably subjected him to some abuse (although his consolation was that the Yankees always won and the Dodgers always lost). He passed that love of the game down to me (even if I traded the Yankees for the Cubs as an adult--don't ask). I still cry at the end of Field of Dreams ("Dad, you wanna have a catch?"), because, who doesn't? More importantly, though he certainly could not have imagined it at the time, he set me down the path of my two-plus-year (and counting) scholarly obsession with the Infield Fly Rule.

Crazy as it sounds, one of my vivid snapshot memories of childhood is that moment when I first learned about this crazy rule. I was about eight years old and my dad and I were watching a Yankee game on TV. One of the announcers said "Infield Fly Rule is in effect" (standard baseball broadcaster lingo on IFR plays, for reasons I have not yet been able to uncover); I asked what that meant and he explained. And he obviously did it in very clear terms, because I immediately understood both the rule and its logic and his explanation stuck with me going forward. If, as I have argued, to understand the infield fly rule is to understand baseball, then my dad understood baseball. And he made sure I did, as well.

One of the last times I visited him in New Jersey in the spring, I brought along two of my infield fly articles. He flipped through them while we were sitting together talking and he read them after I left. And I am quite certain it is the only thing I have written as a prawf that he read or understood. So that alone made this whole project worthwhile.

Alav ha'sholom.





1 Comments:

Baruch dayan ha'emes. This was a beautiful tribute to your father. I hope you have comfort in your time of mourning.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 8/18/2014 11:38 AM  


Post a Comment