Inspiration from a night at the ballpark

After attending Web Design World 2008 Chicago, my coworkers and I hopped down the Red Line to check out the White Sox game and eat some hot dogs.

Excitement built in the stadium as we witnessed 8 1/3 innings of no-hit baseball by the White Sox and pitcher Gavin Floyd, with every pitch bringing the crowd to the edge of our seats and then onto our feet, before Joe Mauer drove a ball into the left-center field gap. After the hit, Floyd left to an ovation from the still-standing crowd, appreciative of his incredible effort.

This quest for perfection inspires people of all professions and trades. When this site launched last May, it never felt quite finished to me. I was proud of the shape of the design and my first Django blog code, but I felt I hadn’t made it all the way to the end of the process. Regardless, feedback was positive and appreciative of how far I’d come. Since last fall, I’ve been working on a new version of this site that I can consider complete and polished, if still not perfect. For months, a design evolved into a sharper version of the current appearance, with the addition of tumblelog features.

Then last month I scrapped that evolution to start from scratch, and am getting closer to considering the new site ready. I hate this phase, because I no longer am proud of my previous work. I hesitate to put more content onto my existing site because I want to show others and myself I can do better. Wilson Miner has gone into more detail on this feeling than I can.

Surprisingly, the most perfect moment of the near no-hitter had nothing to do with baseball.

Before the game, a wounded Marine threw out one of the first pitches before finding his seat in the stands, 3 chairs to my right. Life had clearly handed him a tough card to play, but between two of the later innings, a smiling little girl accompanied by her mother handed him a newly-purchased White Sox championship hat. At first I was touched, thinking she was asking the mostly-anonymous man for his autograph, a showing of admiration and respect for what he had survived. Then the little girl spoke up, and it was clear she didn’t want an autograph. She wanted him to have the hat.

He wore it proudly for the remainder of the game.

I know I will always keep the excitement of the game strong in my memory, but I hope that little girl’s gesture always remains stronger.

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