We get letters. This one is special.
When Ira Comstock was 18, he and his fellow soldiers on a troop train stopped in Sheridan in 1943. He writes: “I would appreciate if you would pass along my long overdue thanks.”
To the people of Sheridan:
In August of 1943, I was on a troop train with approximately 200 other men being transferred from Shepherd Field in Texas to Missoula, Mont. We were in chair (train) cars with no air conditioning. There were no bathing facilities and our food was prepared in a boxcar with the doors open. We were extremely hot and sweaty and thirsty. The trip was supposed to take two days, but due to numerous delays, it took four days. It was the worst trip I have ever taken, except for one very bright spot.
After three days, our train pulled into the Sheridan Railway Station and to our delight, some 30 ladies were waiting to greet us on the station platform. They had set up tables with cold drinks and cookies and doughnuts. We were not allowed off the train, but their beautiful, smiling ladies handed the refreshments to us through the windows. The train was in the station for only about 30 minutes, but I still remember how great it was and how much it meant to me and the others.
That has now been 70 years ago, but I have always and will always have great memories of that 30 minutes and a warm spot in my heart for the city of Sheridan and especially for those beautiful angels.
Thanks to all of you, so very much.
Ira A. Comstock
Virginia Beach, Va.
Fearless prediction: National League All Stars 8, American League 3.
The Notebook’s always been a fan of baseball trivia. Here’s a new dose.
Future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera will likely finish his career (this is his last season) with the most games played without a hit. The best-ever closer in baseball history with 638 saves (and counting) is oh-for-three at the plate, with a walk. When Rivera enters a game from the NY Yankees’ bullpen with Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” blaring from loudspeakers in Yankee Stadium, it usually means the other team starts sacking up the bats; as in, “It’s over.”
But in 1,088 (and counting) major league appearances in 19 seasons, he doesn’t hit much. He has one RBI, the result of Mets’ pitcher Francisco Rodriquez walking him in 2009 with the bases loaded, forcing in a run. Rivera has spent his career in the American League where pitchers don’t hit and in an era where closers are seldom required to pitch more than one inning. Rollie Fingers, a Hall of Famer, was 31 for 180 in his career as a hitter; Trevor Hoffman, who is second only to Rivera in saves with 601, was four-for-34. Rivera came up professionally from Panama as a shortstop but transitioned to pitching.