Self

by Tom Swift

Imagine feeling a sharp knife-point pain in your elbow, and realizing right away what had happened. Imagine facing another serious surgery, far more complex than your first one, and knowing that at least a full year of drudgery awaited, more than 12 months of mind-numbing repetition and toil, all of it with the increasingly creaky body of a 40-yar-old.

Lots of people imagined they were in [Joe] Nathan’s uniform back then. And the greatest relief pitcher in [Minnesota] Twins history knows what they concluded.

‘Absolutely nobody believed in me at that point,’ Nathan, now 41, said by phone last week from the Iowa Cubs clubhouse, where one of the most unlikely stories in recent history is unfolding. ‘People assumed I was retiring. Reporters were saying my career was over. People can have their opinions, but the only one that matters is what you believe in yourself.’

-Phil Miller, “One More Shot at a World Series,” Star Tribune, 7-17-2016