Today is my oldest daughter Carrie's 20th birthday.
Carrie arrived at a little after 2:00 a.m. on December 27, 1989. She was due two weeks earlier, and we gave some thought to naming her "Hesitation" Wood, in honor of that, and for Satchel Paige's famed hesitation pitch.
But, suffice to say, the past two decades have been a blur. She's a college junior now, making good grades, writing baseball for the school paper, playing bass in the pep band and in another rock band, and working a part-time job as well. I really couldn't be any prouder.
The morning she was born, I stayed with my wife until a little after 5:00 a.m., and then headed home to grab some winks myself. As the elevator doors opened onto the lobby at Union Memorial Hospital, I was face-to-face with Johnny Neun.
Now, maybe Johnny's name doesn't ring a bell, but I'd known John for a number of years already. He'd played major league baseball with the Tigers - where he pulled off an unassisted triple play - and Braves in the 1920's, had managed the Cincinnati Reds in the big leagues and the Newark Bears in the International League when they were the Yankees top farm club. Late in life he scouted for the Milwaukee Brewers and still suited up in spring training well into his 80s. By 1989 he was retired - heck, he was 89 years old - and had come to the hospital that day for some type of treatment. In his Christmas cards he used to include the boxscore of the game where he had the triple play.
He was the first non-family member to hear about Carrie. He passed away three months later. But every time Carrie's birthday rolls around, I think about Johnny and that morning in the lobby.
Over the years I've been asked a dozen times if we named her after the Cubs - now Indians - right-handed pitcher. Considering he was 12 when she was born...no.
By the way, it's also Scotty Moore's birthday. No, not the Orioles' infielder - Scotty Moore was Elvis Presley's guitarist in the early days, and still a great picker today at 78. Listen to Scotty play on the early Sun Records' stuff - it's just terrific. Great touch, and a great producing job by Sam Phillips.
So, Happy Birthday Carrie - and many, many more.
And here's to you, Scotty, a true rockabilly legend.