... the rest is just details.For most people, this draws a smile; they've seen the bumper sticker, bought the T-shirt. But for New York's Arlington High School graduate Thomas Kirkpatrick, the sentiment is very real.
His self-published book, "The Old Boys of Summer: 100 Years of Baseball (1845-1945)" explores the history and evolution of the great American pastime, and like any good sportswriter, his words resonate far from the playing field.
Kirkpatrick's love of the game comes through his own remarkable story, one he details in the book's final pages. Like baseball, Kirkpatrick has been close to the brink; he's faced trial after trial, but through it all, he’s kept his head up and kept swinging.
Twelve years ago, when Thomas was ten, he was hit by a pickup truck. The accident left him with injuries including severe brain trauma, a broken femur, a fractured pelvis, and a crushed ribcage. Doctors gave him less than a one percent chance of survival. Remarkably, Kirkpatrick pulled through.
"They had conceded my death, but I wasn't dead and I had no plans on dying; I was down, but not out," he wrote. Kirkpatrick remained on life support for more than a month before he woke from his coma. It was then that the real battle began, the road less traveled to recovery, as Kirkpatrick wrote.
Initially paralyzed, the accident left Kirkpatrick with limited motor skills. He couldn't eat solid foods and he couldn't talk. It took a formidable spirit and an incredible family effort to pull through his recovery.
"I told him he was allowed to feel sorry for himself for five minutes," his father said. "and it was human and natural to feel that way. But after that, he just had to move on." Shortly after the accident Thomas, unaware of the severity of his injuries, asked to be signed up for the local youth football team.
After months of therapy, Thomas regained some movement in his hands and