“There are only two seasons- winter and baseball.” – Bill Veeck

Hello friends,

This is Dana Rubin-Winkelman, the social worker. I hope you and your family are well. I am thinking of you and sending my positive thoughts and prayers. We are missing everyone, and hope to bridge the distance through this electronic connection.

My Dad, Howie, has taught me many things. Some of the values that I hold dear like honesty and love of family were learned from my parents. Although there are many things I could share about my Dad, today, I will share one, undeniable, fact. My Dad absolutely loves baseball. My parents have been sweethearts since they were 14 and 15 years old, but my Dad’s love affair with baseball goes back even farther than my Mom! So, this week, you can only imagine how exciting it was to hear Major League Baseball (MLB) announce the 2020 regular season will open on July 23 or 24!  Hallelujah!  Did you just hear the angels sing??! …Why yes, yes I did!  My Dad’s beloved game is on!

We are only one month from hearing those cherished words, “PLAY BALL!” So, on the heels of Father’s Day, with the incredible MLB announcement, and with a loving nod to my favorite baseball nut, my Dad, I write this Touch Points in his honor.

As always, I am also thinking about those families caring for someone with memory loss. For the sports fan in your life, there are modifiable activity ideas throughout this email and “clickable” links.

OH BELOVED BASEBALL: HOW, EVER, WILL WE GET THROUGH THE NEXT MONTH WITHOUT YOU?!?

  1. It’s Time to Start the Anticipation- Check out this piece on 20 reasons to be excited about the season. I particularly like number 15! The author, Richard Justice says, “Count on this:  the Brewers are again going to be good.” Click here to read: https://www.mlb.com/news/reasons-to-be-excited-for-2020-baseball-season 
  2. Jewish Fantasy Draft-  Did you know that on June 21st, the first all-time Jewish fantasy draft was hosted by Rabbi Jeremy Fine?  Rabbi Fine is otherwise known as “The Great Rabbino.” (I didn’t make that up!) The program helped raise funds for Team Israel’s quest for a medal in the 2021 Olympics. The event was even streamed live on Facebook.  Read more about this fun event in the JewishJournal. Click here: https://jewishjournal.com/commentary/blogs/317345/rabbi-jeremy-fine-on-his-upcoming-event-with-team-israel-baseball/ 
  3. Longing for the Game?-  Curious to see what happened today in Jewish baseball history, or feeling nostalgic for past seasons? Click here to read http://jewishbaseballmuseum.com/spotlight-story/today-in-jewish-baseball-history/.
  4. Who is Your Favorite Player of All Time?  – I know that my Dad’s favorite Jewish baseball players are Sandy Koufax and Hank Greenberg. Fun fact:  Did you know that in 1965 Sandy Koufax refused to pitch in Game 1 in the World Series because it was Yom Kippur, a Jewish holy day?!  That is quite a strong statement for a Jew in 1965! Who are your favorite players and/or what players have impressive convictions like Sandy Koufax? I was moved by the powerful video that Black MLB players created in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Click here: https://jewishjournal.com/commentary/blogs/317345/rabbi-jeremy-fine-on-his-upcoming-event-with-team-israel-baseball/ 
  5. Try a Variety of Baseball Activity Ideas at Home- Watch old games on sports networks, listen to the classic song “Take me out to the ball game”, or sort baseball cards/sports memorabilia. Consider searching in your garage for sports gear your loved one used to use. A well-loved baseball glove, for example, might lead to recalling years gone by. Or, try completing a large piece sports themed puzzle, or drawing/painting a sports field or balls.
  6. Create a Special Baseball Themed Afternoon or Evening-  Wear your favorite team apparel, and watch a baseball themed movie like: The Sandlot, The Natural, Field of Dreams, or The Bad New Bears. (I highly recommend all these movies!) Make it more authentic by making your favorite game day food/snacks. Enjoy favorite dishes like a bag of roasted peanuts, Cracker Jacks or a Chicago style hot dog with mustard, relish and a poppy seed bun. If you want, you can even buy Major League baseball peanuts! Click here: https://www.hamptonfarms.com/pages/major-league-baseball-peanuts 
  7. Try a Few Baseball Brain Health Exercises–  Imagine you are sitting at the bleachers at a baseball game. List all the sounds, smells and tastes you may encounter. Or, for the true baseball enthusiast, try matching baseball teams with their city. Print out the attached matching game.
  8. Check out The Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s-“Museum Moment”  The always interesting Education Director, Ellie Gettinger, covers a piece called, “Milwaukee and Baseball, A Love Story.” After you watch, think about who inspired your love of sports? Click here to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WctOj0FNDNw&list=PLl-OCNr_mRXQ7DNfR6PSo4K0qdmYGmlz4&index=5&t=0s

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…  For caregivers, sometimes things that work one day, don’t work well the next. So, if not a good day today, then give it a try another time.  As Babe Ruth said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” I’m hoping that today is your “home run day.”

I would love to hear from you! Email me here: DRubin-Winkelman@ovation.org

Thinking of you and sending all my positive energy and love,

Dana