Boswell: Roy Sievers was solid major-leaguer, but to one D.C. boy, he was so much more

From Thomas Boswell at the Washington Post on April 5, 2017:

A baseball hero is a toy of childhood. Electric trains, cowboy guns and plastic soldiers are the same find. But with a baseball hero, a youngster reaches out, for one of the first times, into the world outside the family. That connection with a big, mysterious environment gives a certain sense of power; children discover they can invest their affections and actually get something special back in return. However, hero worship also brings with it the first morsels of the sort of pain and fear that we come to associate with the word “reality.” We begin to learn about adult disappointments and the profound uncontrollability of nature.

I was fortunate. I got a wonderful hero. When I was eight years old in the spring of 1956, somebody gave me my first pack of baseball cards. Pathetic as it sounds, I can still remember where I was standing when I opened them: beside a coffee table in the living room. In that pack was only one player from my hometown team, the Washington Senators. I’m convinced that, by the luck of the draw, the player on that card was destined to be my first (and, as it turned out, only) hero. It could have been Herb Plews, who made four errors in one inning, or Chuck Stobbs, who lost 13 games in a row.

But it was Roy Sievers.

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Originally published: April 5, 2017. Last Updated: April 5, 2017.