I have a terrible memory. I hate it, but it’s true. My entire family makes fun of me for it. But, what’s a girl to do? In fact, my brother and I were joking on Halloween about how I don’t remember even one costume I wore as a kid. I do have a vague recollection of wearing plastic masks with the elastic bands that wrapped around your head. That image is etched in my brain because I can almost feel the moist condensation that would collect inside the mask after a chilly night trick-or-treating in Indiana. Gross.
I used to think I had to push some stuff out of my brain only to stuff more knowledge in as I learned and read more. But, that doesn’t explain why I know all the words to American Pie and vividly remember Mrs. Hall pinning a tail on the back of Lee Adrianson’s blue jeans in third grade to detour him from being a tattletale. (In a crazy plot twist, Lee’s is an amazing elementary school teacher now!)
One detail I probably would never have remembered was the exact section I was in for 6th Grade Social Studies. Every time I see Mike Burchette, he reminds me that I was one of his best students in Section 6A Social Studies at J.C. Knight Elementary School. Mike, Burch, or Coach Burchette, as most people know him, is just an all-around great guy and a diehard Cubs fan! #FlyTheW I LOVE this recent Facebook entry he posted last week of him with his favorite Cubbie, Kyle Schwarber.
Anyone who watched the Cubs in the World Series knows it was a miracle that Schwarber was even playing after a knee injury so devastating that it took him six months to learn to walk again! The recovery took so long that he didn’t even play in a single game before bringing his bat as DH in Game 1 of the World Series! I don’t care who your team is, that’s incredible!
And just when you think the story of The Legendary Kyle Schwarber can’t get any better, he turns out to be an amazingly generous guy, too—the good guys always are! There are stories of him giving the glove off his own hand to a youth leaguer who had none. He even agreed to autograph a windshield, after he smashed it with one of his signature home runs, when he learned that it would be auctioned off for charity. I guess the buyer of those shards of glass gets the last laugh now, huh? #2016WorldSeriesChampions
This big hunk also has a big heart as you may have witnessed when he speaks about his 10-year-old buddy, Campbell Faulkner, who has a rare form of mitochondrial disease. Schwarber has donned a bright green wristband during the Series in Faulkner’s honor and to bring awareness about his disease. Don’t you just wanna give that Cub a big bear hug? I do!
It’s people like Schwarber and Coach Burchette who remind me of all that’s right with the world during this seriously crazy election year. I especially appreciate Kyle’s shirt in the Facebook pic, “Inspire Someone”. He certainly does. But, Burch and Schwarber could have easily switched shirts that day. They may love baseball, but when it comes to inspiration, they bring their A game.
In fact, inspiration is a commodity that we can all be generous with, if we so choose. Lee Adrianson does it daily in front of a classroom of kids. Sure, I remember Lee and his tattle tail, but more notably he’ll be remembered for dedication to, and his significant impact on, the hundreds of kids blessed to call him their teacher. That’s gonna leave a mark.
Schwarber inspires on the field of dreams. The Legend that is Kyle Schwarber will be a future hall-of-famer, no doubt. And, yes, he’ll be remembered for overcoming a typically season-ending injury and contributing to an EPIC World Series victory by the Cubs—one for the books that will officially end any curse talk, goat or otherwise, ever uttered from an MLB commentator’s lips. But, he’ll also be remembered as the guy who left spring training and drove to a random hotel just to take a picture with a fellow Hoosier, and Cubs fan, simply because his dad called and told him about good ‘ole Coach Burchette. That’s gonna leave a mark.
Coach Burchette’s been known to inspire a passel of people throughout his life, as well. Some through decades of coaching and his undying love of all things sports. Countless others through his steadfast faith in his bold battle with cancer—including a series of radiation and chemo he started this week in Indy. He’s a fighter, just like the Cubbies. And he’ll keep believing he can beat this cancer just like he always believed the Cubs could win the World Series. And, that’s inspiring to all those who know and love him, especially this girl from Section 6A—because for me, he’s truly left a mark.