I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving since I moved away, back in the year 2000, but on one relatively recent visit to my parents’ house in suburban Chicago, I snapped the above pic — of another pic that hangs in their basement with a bunch of framed sports memorabilia.
My high school softball glory days aren’t really relevant right now; I post this to call attention to my jersey number.
I always felt a special affinity for 17.
So, having made it through that many months of sobriety (510 days as of today), I’m struggling to come up with anything wise to say, because thinking about that number immediately sends my brain into a Mark Grace rabbit hole.
He was my favorite Cub growing up, which made me just like every other female in about three Midwestern states — and any females elsewhere whose homes got WGN — but the sex appeal wasn’t what really mattered to me. The important thing was that Mark Grace was a Gold Glove first baseman and a .300 hitter
who was really cute, and he was basically the captain of my team throughout my teens. He inspired what we all know is a HUGE life decision for a young girl: what number to wear on her back during athletic endeavors.