Mario Cuomo, R.I.P.
Upstate and the rest of the country could have been spared his "expansive and affirmative view of government and… message of compassion, tinged by the Roman Catholicism that was central to Mr. Cuomo’s identity," (Don’t immanentize the eschaton, Mr. Governor} were it not for a bad pitch:
- It was baseball, not politics, that first engaged him, and he proved as aggressive in one as in the other. After graduating from St. John’s Preparatory School in Queens in 1949, he played on the freshman baseball team at St. John’s University.
A strapping six feet tall, 190 pounds at age 19, he signed a contract to play center field for the Class D Brunswick Pirates in Georgia in 1952, reportedly receiving a $2,000 signing bonus, sizable for that time. Mr. Cuomo “plays hard” and “will run over you if you get in his way,” a Pirates scout wrote.
His baseball career was short-lived. Knocked in the head with a 3-and-2 fastball that summer, he was left blind for a week and forced to give up the game — leaving with a .244 batting average.
- It is a community activity. You need all nine people helping one another. I love bunt plays. I love the idea of the bunt. I love the idea of the sacrifice. Even the word is good. Giving yourself up for the good of the whole. That's Jeremiah. That's thousands of years of wisdom. You find your own good in the good of the whole. You find your own individual fulfillment in the success of the community — the Bible tried to do that and didn't teach you. Baseball did.
Conservatives, apparently the target of this quote, would have done well to have given these words heed thirty years ago: "The price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that someday they might force their beliefs on us." Amen. NY SAFE Act, upstaters? Same-sex marriage anyone? Two reasons among thousands why libertarianism and are the way forward.