Haruko Hasumi loves baseball – Japanese baseball, American baseball. She flew from Tokyo to DFW in 1991 and witnessed the seventh and last no-hitter of Nolan Ryan’s career.
First time I met her, she was wearing her SWOBODA 4 Mets jersey outside the Tokyo Dome in 2000. She and the Swoboda family were in Queens for the final days of Shea Stadium in 2008. This year Hasumi began following another team – Nichidai-Fujisawa High School. She has been going to the same dentist, Yasuki Ito, for many years, and this spring his son Rui was a senior on the team.
“I heard that parents cheered for their children every game but they had no time taking photos,” she wrote in an e-mail. “That's why I thought of taking photos for them. At first I introduced myself to the parents, ‘Hi guys, I'm Dr. Ito's patient since 1990.’ That cracks them up.They call me ‘Ms. Patient.’”
Recently, Nichidai-Fujisawa was playing in the Kanagawa Prefecture playoff, the prelude to the famous Koshien national tournament. (Final Four and Super Bowl, wrapped into one.)
In the ninth inning, she caught Rui Ito throwing out a runner at home, and his father cheering in the stands.
But the team lost, which is clear from the mothers’ faces. The players bowed, everybody cheered – and the juniors had to carry the bags to the team bus.
Now Haruko will devote her energy to rooting for the Mets, from afar. And good luck with that.
"The day after my 80th birthday, which overflowed with good wishes, surprises and Covid-safe celebrations, I awoke feeling fulfilled and thinking that whatever happens going forward, I’m OK with it. My life has been rewarding, my bucket list is empty, my family is thriving, and if everything ends tomorrow, so be it.
"Not that I expect to do anything to hasten my demise. I will continue to exercise regularly, eat healthfully and strive to minimize stress. But I’m also now taking stock of the many common hallmarks of aging and deciding what I need to reconsider."
--Jane E. Brody, my pal in the NYT newsroom, oh, a few years back, in the Personal Health column, Sept. 13, 2021.
"People have said to me, ‘You’re fully vaccinated. Why are you being so careful?’” said Dr. Robert M. Wachter, professor and chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “I’m still in the camp of I don’t want to get Covid. I don’t want to get a breakthrough infection.”
---Tara Parker-Pope, The New York Times, Aug. 16, 2021.