The Great American Past Tense #2: Schoop vs. Kelly

When watching baseball, we always hope to see something great or something strange. However, baseball is filled with mundane moments. With a little help from the internet, Derek Maine shows us how even a routine moment can be interesting.

Baseball, the numbers game, obsessed with probabilities. The range of outcomes more Ozzie Smith than Derek Jeter. Those folks in the stands that come every game? That came in the 40s and the 70s and still today? That coalesce to become a backdrop of colors in your favorite moment? They will tell you, time and time again, that every game, despite the stillness of the routine, brings with it something new; something unseen:

On Friday, April 17th, 2015 the Red Sox played a baseball game. In the top of the 3rd inning, we witnessed something improbable. Something against any calculable odds. To appreciate, to celebrate, we must start at some beginning… 

Joe and Andrea Kelly fell in love. Their love and hard work blessed them four children: Nolan, Lennae, Joseph and Chris. They raised their children in Anaheim, California on a cul-de-sac surrounded by four houses of extended family.

Strike 1.

Approximately 3,410 miles southeast, over the Caribbean Sea, lies Curacao, a Dutch island home to around 150,000 people. Jonathan Rufino Jezus Schoop was born in the town of Willemstad on October 16th, 1991. His parents also fell in love, for a moment or eternity (if there is even a distinction), though their names are lost in Google Sea.

Strike 2.

Joseph Kelly (b. June 9, 1988) made Corona High School’s varsity baseball team as an outfielder. Two Playboy Playmates are alumni of Corona High, Kimberly Phillips (Joseph’s classmate) named Miss September 2009 and Pennelope Jimenez honored as Miss March 2003. He received a scholarship to play college baseball for the University of California-Riverside where he was converted to a closer and named the Big West Conference’s Pitcher of the Year as a Freshman.

Ball 1.

Foul Ball.

Ball 2.

In 2004, the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years. A few months earlier, Pabao Little League of Willemstad, Curacao won their first ever Little League World Series in South Williamsport, PA. Playing in the infield that day for Curacao? Jurickson Profar and Jonathan Schoop.

Foul Ball. Foul Ball (dropped by fan). 

Friday, April 17th, 2015 there were 750 active, eligible major league baseball players.

Ball 3.

Jonathan Schoop grounded out on the 9th pitch Joseph Kelly threw him. The sheer magnitude of love, frustration, afternoons, and accidents that led to this are tremendous. Physics, biology, the space-time continuum itself, the epoch of recombination all tuned precisely to this incalculable moment. That you exist. That I exist. That baseball fields are. That you and I and baseball fields exist in this moment. And so we witnessed, and it is really, really difficult to remember these things through the long slog of every-single-day-after-day-after, but Jonathan Schoop grounded out to Joe Kelly in the top of the 3rd inning and it was glorious.

Derek Maine takes an irreverent look at the strange, mundane game of baseball.

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