From "In Memory of Steven Ochs, 1969-92" ON BOARD THE BROADWAY LIMITED -- If voter opinion on this Amtrak train traveling throught the hearland of Pennsylvania is any indication, Harris Wofford just might pull off an upset victory over Richard Thornburg in the hotly-contested election for U.S. Senator. Just as this train crosses the diverse landscape of Pennsylvania -- urban blight, suburban sprawl, flat farmland, rolling hills, rivers and mountains -- perhaps the passengers on board also reflect the state's diverse political geography. When Governor Robert Casey appointed Wofford to fill the Senate seat left vacant after John Heinz died in a plane crash this spring, it appeared that Wofford would barely have time to hire a few aides and redecorate Heinz's old office before being whupped by Thornburgh, the Republican candidate, in the special election. But for someone known as "Harris Who?" just a few months ago, the Democratic candidate seems to have made a name for himself by voicing concerns many Pennsylvanians have about the direction the nation is traveling. · From the column "Work, Baseball and American Heroes" (DP 10/17/91): The way I remember it, there were two outs when I came to bat. The tying run was on second base and the go-ahead run was on first. It was a must-win game for the team. As I squared my stance, I looked up into the bleachers. Two of my heroes were sitting there. One was Willie "Pops" Stargell. "Wow!" I thought. "How cool!" Here was the Pirates star first-baseman, watching me play ball at the Frick Park little league diamond, just as I would watch him play ball at Three Rivers Stadium. (Actually, Stargell was there to watch his daughter play. She was on my team. But at that moment, I was the center of attention.) There was one other hero in the stands during that long-ago little league game. He's still in Pittsburgh and he's anachronistically defying the "greed is good" values of our country. This hero taught me the value of fortitude and follow-through. He taught me the importance of work for work's sake (even though he's a trained economist). And through his eyes, I see what it means to care about your family, your neighbors and the stranger on the street you've never even met before. When he played in little league, he played with such intensity that he would get headaches. His heart was set on being the first left-handed third baseman in the majors. Hell, he'd pay them if they'd let him into the bigs. Well, he didn't make it onto the Pirates team. But he's still committed to his family, his work and his community. And he's still underpaid. Thanks for the example, Dad.Comments powered by Disqus
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