Are you watching?
Counsil is a sandlot legend from the area of Raleigh, N.C., Hamilton’s neck of the woods. He used to pitch hours of batting practice to Hamilton’s older brother, then to Hamilton, during the American Legion and high school years.
When he was added to the American League field for the Derby, Hamilton knew who he wanted with him in the spotlight.
He called Counsil and asked, “Clay, what are you doing?”
Seriously. Former heroin addict? Busting records that were set back in the hey day of baseball steroid abuse? With a 71-year-old pitcher who was his hometown coach and has believed in him since the “good old days”? You could write this story and people would be sure you totally made it all up.
But it’s real. And it’s exactly what I love about baseball.
Oh, and seeing all the players sitting on the field with toddlers in their laps and babies slumped over their shoulders?
That’s what I’m here for.