Catfish Hunter Is An Adult.
I’m not sure if it were 1976-77 or even 1978. Larry David, Bobby Kelton and I had decided to watch the All-Star game at Larry’s place—an old railroad apartment that led from the tiny kitchen through the bedroom finally to Larry’s living room. The apartment had the feel of a Salvation Army store that had been robbed and what remained was what the thief thought had little or no value.
We were all in our mid-twenties, which was about the same age as many of the ball players. During the baseball game we argued about our usual trivial things, Larry and Bobby going at it fiercely—LD like he was trying to yell his way out of being circumcised.
To this day we’d have serious, sometimes, heated discussions about things like: Would you rather die before or after your team lost the World Series? If you were woken from a coma by hearing a male friend’s voice would that constitute homosexual tendencies? Would Fidel Castro get away with blaming his impotency on atmospheric conditions? Meanwhile the American league was getting slaughtered. Catfish Hunter gave up several runs in his one or two innings of work. During the game he was interviewed. He had already showered and was dressed in a grown up suit. Catfish was in a calm, almost jovial mood. We were all amazed at his attitude, none more so than Larry; he couldn’t believe how Catfish, who had just bombed in front of millions of people on national television, was acting so mature. One audience member with a disparaging expression on his face could catapult Larry into slamming the microphone to the floor as he ran off stage yelling at the audience, “You’re all scum.” At one point Larry had ruined so many microphones the Comic Strip actually started gluing them to the stand.
The game had become a rout so Bobby and I decided to leave. As we walked towards his door, Larry started muttering loudly. We turned to see Larry’s face reddened and scorched with tension, teetering on the edge of a stroke. He was,wearing his Yankee batting helmet, Yankee T-shirt, and pounding his fist into his glove, screaming, “I’m as old as Catfish. Uh, I could be an adult! Why can’t I be more mature!?