The Corner

WFB at the Ballgame

A reader begins his note, “Funny that you talk about Buckley and baseball in your column today, Jay.” Why?

At the 1999 Mets season opener at Shea Stadium, I was sitting in the mezzanine section. There was a gap of two seats between me and a gentleman to my right. To my complete amazement, it was WFB himself!!! We chatted for a few innings, then I had to go down to the next level to catch my friends. I wrote him a letter the next day to say what a pleasure it was to meet him. A couple of weeks later, a letter came back – same day as my National Review arrived – from WFB. I still have it.

Of course. Yes, Bill went to two baseball games (only) – a Yankees game and a Mets game. At least that’s the way I remember it. He was taken by his friend Ira Glasser, the former honcho of the ACLU. I’m pretty sure that Ira made him take the subway once, just to “complete” the experience. That might have been more appalling to Bill than going to the game.

And at one of the games – I forget which, the Yankees or the Mets – Bill got up early to get a beer. The teenage girl behind the counter asked him to produce ID. He blinked at her, “I’m 75 years old.”

I wish you could have heard him tell that story . . . 

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