Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Inductee #13

Specs are often associated with intellectual pursuits, and though the connotation of nerdiness is derived from this association, the results of such intellectual activity are not relegated to the passive- think violence (atomic warfare) and action (3-D); think baseball. However, the need to read was the mother of invention in this case, and the link between literature and sport is nowhere better represented than in our next honoree:

Dave Hilton

A rookie for the Padres in 1972, he played a few seasons as a utility infielder for a San Diego team that featured Dave Winfield and Nate Colbert, as well as a young Leron Lee, who would later play a long career with the Lotte Orions in Japan. And in Japan it was that Mr. Hilton reinforced the pesky relationship between glasses and literature- in April 1978, Haruki Murakami was in the outfield stands for a Swallows game, when in the bottom of the first Hilton slammed a double into left field. At that exact moment, Murakami decided that he could write a novel- up until that moment he had been running a jazz club, and though he continued with the club for some time afterwards, he began writing his first novel as well. Write he did, and after producing such classics as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka On The Shore, he is still composing.

The grand irony- Dave had lost two of his four eyes when he put on the Swallows uniform:

It's possible that Dave never took the glasses off- they became his eyes while his bat became a weapon for literature, sending the extra eyes into the left field bleachers where the Murakami's were waiting. Too bad he could never have done that in San Diego.
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