Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Best Friend Demanded I Drop Everything For The Game Of Baseball


By Jock MacKenzie – Twice voted one of 50 best radio sports broadcasters in the United States.

 When the world socks you in the gut, a bad day on the golf course maybe, think of the best friend any of us would be lucky enough to have and let the ball roll from there.
My best friend was a sports columnist, Leo Cloutier by name, who came to my house every week demanding that I drop all I had on tap and join him along with others in a game of baseball
That was when he was a star writer in his home town newspaper. He later became big time in that field so much so that Ted Williams of the Red Sox gave him the car he drove when devoted fans at fenway park gifted a new auto.
The thing about Leo that stays with me was his belief by everyone whether baseball, golf or whatever, is this dictum he used in life. When things went bad he used it. When his sports ability shone like the brightest star, Leo loved speaking it at each turn. Simply said, on each occasion it was “With malice towards none!”
He wrote that belief in column after column because he believed in it and, in actuality, it had become part of his life.
So I ask, what does this have to do with we gofers coming off the links today – especially with individual golf prices happily cut in good sized numbers at both Pine Lakes and Cypress Knoll to a point that you may want to consider joining yourself.  We are enjoyed and happy when playing the game well but when the day is not ours with plenty of available turns the smiles of happiness are too often missing.
I have done it.  Members of my “Sludgehammer” Group at Pine & Cypress have done it. countless other groups in Palm Coast have done it.  We love to boast and smile with what we did but rarely do we think how lucky we are to be on this beautiful grass for hours and then brighten the rest of each day with friends.
However, never in all these groups do I hear “With malice toward none!”
My friend Leo is up there somewhere and I will always believe he is watching us like a bird.
To Leo, enjoying the sport is what counted, whether it be golf, baseball tennis or whatever.  When I get home after a good or bad day on the Pine or Cypress courses I stop and think of my late friend Leo and the words loosen all the anger by nightfall.
Try it.  When the world socks you in the gut, think of my friend Leo and the thousands of times he wrote and spoke those special words: “With Malice toward None! In most cases including myself, life and sports will take a huge turn toward the better!  These few words have so much good meaning for all of us that you may want to consider sparking your day with it.
Wish it and speak of it, do as you prefer.
But always remember, “With Malice Towards None!
Hey! What was good enough for Ted Williams will always be good enough for me.
Including Leo Cloutier’s “With Malice Towards None!”

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