This is a picture of Brian during his second or third year of baseball, I can’t quite remember which. Brian had many talents that unfortunately few of his friends later in life ever saw. Baseball was certainly one of them. My brother was born with a tremendous amount of natural athletic ability. I was the first of us to get excited about playing ball. My dad started us swinging a bat as soon as we were old enough to hold one. Some of my greatest memories of my childhood was hitting wiffle balls in the front yard of our house in Dallas. Sometimes after playing in the summer heat my dad would load us into his truck and take us to get snow cones. Those were great days! I had aspirations of being a home run hitter but when I got older and the balls went from plastic to hard and the bats to aluminum my ideas began to change a bit. I have always been too analytical for sports. I spend to much time thinking instead of just letting it happen. My brother was different, he could summon his innate ability. Being a couple of years younger it took him time to catch up. But by the time he was in second grade he had passed me by. Quick and fearless at the plate and speedy around the bases he had all the makings of a fantastic ball player. He did well in little league and was selected to play in a higher level PBI league, a move I think my dad still regrets to this day. The coaches in that league took the game far more seriously and my brother was, well, very much Brian. His competitive ball career ended shortly after that but even after we quit playing for a team my brother and I would spend all summer playing ball. Holding our own homerun derbies in the front yard during our summer holiday or out back playing pitcher and catcher. Being the oldest I was always trying to con Brian into one thing or another. So I would get him to play catcher and let me pitch to him. Pitching was what I really enjoyed but I never had the arm for it. Even though he was younger and I threw harder than kids his age, that didn’t stop him from grabbing a catchers mit and letting me pitch to him for hours. Those were great years, not all smiles and fun, we argued like brothers do and I think I went after him with an aluminum bat more than once. I didn’t understand all his decision then nor did I understand them in his final years but he was my brother and good times or bad I loved him all the same!