By HAL McCOY
There will be no baseball in this space today. There are some things more important than baseball and a whole lot of things more important than writing about baseball.
At the top of my list is my wife, Nadine, and what she does for a living, something a hundred-fold more important that what I do.
She teaches math at Our Lady of the Rosary school and she doesn’t just teach it. She lives it. She taught nine years at Dayton’s Precious Blood (now Mother Brunner) and the last 31 years at Rosary.
And tonight, at Kettering’s Presidential Banquet Center, she will be honored for 40 years of teaching service in Catholic schools, where pay is low and pats on the back are few.
She doesn’t want to go. She feels she has not accomplished much in her life, spending all her time trying to teach a subject most kids don’t like and to an age group with raging hormones.
Nadine never says anything stupid. This time, though, she did. She has accomplished more in her life, something extremely important, than I could ever come close to doing.
There are people, unfortunately, who believe baseball is more important than education. Now that is stupid beyond belief.
Because of my job, because my picture is in the paper and because I write a blog and write for web-sites, including my own, I am recognized publicly wherever I go.
I make speaking engagements and attend book signings for my book, ‘The Real McCoy.’ Nadine stands by idly while people stop me, ask me to pose for pictures and ask for autographs.
If the truth be known, it is Nadine and her fellow teachers who should be recognized far more than they are, far more than a guy who gets to sit in a press box watching baseball games. Teachers should pose for pictures, they should sign autographs, they should write books.
Are there many jobs more important than teaching our youth? Of course not. Do they get the recognition and pay they deserve? Absolutely not.
That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be recognized. And while she doesn’t want to be there, I will be the proudest person in that room when she stands up and takes a bow.
Does she get frustrated? Yes, she does. She comes home at times believing she isn’t doing a good job because, “These kids just aren’t getting it and I’m not getting through to them.”
Well, that’s not true. It might take a while, but they get it. Nadine runs into students all the time long after they graduate and and they say, “Oh, Mrs. McCoy, my favorite teacher. You made such a difference in my life. Thank you so much.” Those are the times I stand idly by her side and smile broadly.
That doesn’t mean much in the paycheck, but it means a lot to a teacher who often believes they are talking to four walls in a classroom.
And teaching isn’t the only vocation for Nadine. She has me to look after, a job even more difficult than teaching, as difficult as that is.
Because of my legal blindness, she has to be my driver and caretaker. It is the little things, little to most, that I can’t do. I can’t hammer a nail, I can’t hook up those nasty little buttons on sleeves and button-down collars, I can’t see curbs and steps, I can’t see that the dog water dish is empty.
And to top it off, she is a fabulous cook and loves trying out new dishes on me. Usually, they are scrumptious.
So, honey, tonight is your night, even though it is your night 365 days a year. My press box seat will be empty at Great American Ball Park tonight. But my seat in the Presidential Banquet Center will be the best seat in the house, other than yours.