The Phillies. You know, the baseball team?

I’d heard John, my new teaching colleague, was into baseball and I pegged him to be a Phillies fan.
I don’t even know John’s last name. Turns out I don’t know his face either.
I called to him one morning last week. “How’s your team doing?”
“My what?”
“Your team. If it’s the Phils, you have to be excited?
“The Phils?”
“Yeah, I figured you’re a Phillies fan.”
“Phillies?”
“Oh, Yanks? Well, they’ve got a shot too. But you must be on pins and needles.”
“Yanks?”
A moment of silence followed as each of us tried to get a grip on what was going on.
He spoke first.
“Is this baseball you’re talking about?’
I’m not sure what had me more befuddled. That this obviously was not John, or that whoever this was, he was around my age, and aren’t all guys around my age baseball fans?
“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said after another pause. “I thought you were a baseball fan.”
His eyes told me he was trying to process this information.
“Is it early in the season?” he finally asked.
“No, not early,” I said. “But I don’t want to make either of us late for class.”
He went his way. And I went mine.
I thought of him this morning not waking up to find out Bryce Harper went three for four last night with two doubles and a homer.
I hope John did.

Ed Ackerman