Carl from Gerard Avenue carries the day-old newspaper under his arm even though he can’t get the picture out of his head.
“It says so much,” he explains. “I guess it’s that one-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words thing. It made an impression on me, but since it was in a newspaper I tossed it.
“Then I woke up in the middle of the night,” Carl continues. “I couldn’t get back to sleep until I got up and fished it out of the trash.”
The picture of Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter was on the cover of The New York Times sports section yesterday. It was taken at Pettitte’s press conference and ran under the headline: Spring Begins With an Apology.
“The headline didn’t stick with me,” Carl says. “I read every word they wrote and all of Andy’s quotes, but nothing mattered more than that picture.”
He holds up the newspaper and smoothes the wrinkles.
“These are teammates that have been through it all and are ready to go through it all again,” Carl explains. “It’s the kind of bond that’s hard to explain. People who haven’t played ball will never understand.”
Carl will never forget.
“I’ve always been a ballplayer,” he says. “I played all through school and at Hostos (Community College) and then in recreational leagues all over the city. I’m still on an over-50 team that plays on Saturday mornings in Red Hook.
“I don’t play with the passion and energy that I used to,” Carl admits. “But that picture reminded me of how wonderfully personal and intense the game can be and how important your teammates are.”
And how powerful one picture can be.