Voodoo child

Updated: June 1, 2019

This is why sharpies are not allowed in the dugout anymore.

It was batting practice. 

Ricardo ‘Ogre’ Mateo  turned to Ira Murdoch and said “Me.”

“Yeah fine, you’re faster but I still picked up 15 doubles. I still got speed. If I was 22 again I’d have twice your numbers.”

“What!? You’re nuts. If age is the reason then why’d Vern get 31 doubles last year? Huh? He’s only a year younger than you. He’s 29!”

Ira paused for effect, until Ogre started chuckling, then he dropped it. “Voodoo?” 

They both burst out laughing. Faces red, gasping for air they fell off the bench. It was an old gag they shared. Anything inexplicable was obviously voodoo. 

The two, fleet of foot could never figure out how Vern Duncan managed it. He was perennially among the clubs leaders in doubles even though it was generally accepted he could not run a lick. So much so that one of their favorite past times was tormenting the third baseman mercilessly about it. Here was a man with 160 career doubles and yet he only managed to steal 9 bases. Nine! After he got the ninth they started calling him ‘Frodo Nine Bases’ but it never really stuck. It didn’t go well with a mouth full of sunflower seeds. It’s well known that all good nicknames must pass the sunflower test.

Doubled up in convulsive laughter, Ogre saw the shoes under the bench, the loose sharpie, and was touched by The Muse.

The shoes belonged to Vern Duncan. They had his initials ‘V.D. on the back. Vern was like that. All his gear was initialed. Ogre took the sharpie to the shoes, added a few flourishes and changed the initials to ‘VooDoo’. 

Ira seeing the whole thing just wordlessly egged him on. Eventually, slowly, over the course of a long road trip all of Vern’s gear got appropriately tagged. 

Vern didn’t notice at first when other players started calling him the name. One day he noticed the ‘edits’ on his gear but by then it was too late. Vern ‘Voodoo’ Duncan was a part of club lore now and forever.