When I was 12 a rather large kid, Josh, moved to my area in Ijamsville, MD. He was tall and lanky and apparently played baseball. Josh was good friends with a lot of the guys on my Select Team, as well as the other Select Team that came out of our area. I didn't really hang out with those guys very much or even the guys on my team. I was a shy kid. We were both very good teams, but they had recently won the Babe Ruth World Series. We only scrimmaged them once in a close game, so I’ll give them the significant benefit of the doubt when it comes to who was better. I can name 3 or 4 guys off the top of my head that eventually got drafted at some point from that team. Anyway, this kid had planned on trying out for our team. He came out to one tryout and threw what could only be called--for lack of a better word--Cheddar. If it wasn’t there, then that memory is actually from dodgeball games in gym class. Either way, he was good. He was going to make the team. We had even tried to talk his parents into having him on the team. Then his family moved again after only being around for 7th and 8th grade, or really just one season.
I forgot about him for the longest time. It was only this week I realized who that kid was thanks to an old friend of mine telling me about how he went to the Nationals game last week to watch the Marlins' starter pitch. Don’t get me wrong. I think the guy is a fantastic pitcher, but I wasn’t sure why this fact was so important to attend a Nationals game (not that they have an attraction themselves). "Why?" I asked. "You know. Josh. He went to Windsor Knolls with us. The big tall kid we all knew." I opened up my yearbook and sure enough, on the same page as Millsy in the 1998 WKMS Yearbook, there was Joshua Johnson with curly dyed bleach blonde hair. He looked a little younger of course, and didn't have the goatee. And he was big, but not quite yet 6'7" and 250 pounds. But it was him. I checked the 8th Grade superlatives and he didn't even win "Most Athletic". What a crock. Is it too late to change my vote?
As an avid baseball fan, I can't believe this fact had eluded me.