The Name of This Post is Brothers

What does it mean to Robbie and Joey to have an older brother like Nate? I’ve tried over the years to get a handle on it, to try to understand what happens to younger siblings when their big brother provides little to nothing of what a big brother should. Has it been a bad experience for them? At times, for sure. Has it provided them with lots of laughs and a greater tolerance? Without a doubt. Fact is, it’s all they’ve ever known. When Mission of Complex becomes a book, like we all hope it does, I’ll get deeply into this. For now, here’s a couple of things that happened this past week.

Robbie graduated last Sunday. Nate behaved well during the long two-hour ceremony. In fact, he was better behaved than some of the relatives in attendance. Despite Nate’s premature claims to Rob’s room, I think he’ll be shaken up when Robbie leaves for a year of Rotary Exchange in Brazil in a few weeks. Robbie will miss us too, and will miss Nate. As the second son, Robbie suffered the most when Nate was at his uncommunicative worst. Nate would attack him, bite him and, as they both got older, embarrass him. Yet Robbie shows real love for Nate.

Earlier this week, in a rare pairing, Rob took Nate for a haircut, which they both needed, and then to McDonald’s, which they both needed. Karen loved that they did that, and so did I. I can see them driving off together, though I can’t quite visualize Robbie talking to Nate. I’m sure Nate let loose a torrent of nonsense. When Karen said she would take them, Rob said, “I thought I was taking Nate for a haircut.” Obviously he wanted to do it.

Rob’s graduation/goodbye party has been set and all of the Facebook universe seems to be invited. Here’s what Rob chose as the profile picture for the party:

Joey and Rob take great pictures. Nate never does. Rob could’ve chosen a shot of himself, or some friends, or The Dude (his usual go-to selection), but he didn’t. He chose his brothers and I’m getting all misty about it.



About Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is the former Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.
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