With Dave Fromm

“The 7 Questions” is a new sports questionnaire — the Eephus way of catching a snapshot of the fan’s life. From writers to artists and beyond, we bring you answers every week.

Today we get the answers from Dave Fromm, author of a memoir, Expatriate Games: My Season of Misadventures in Czech Semi-Pro Basketball (Skyhorse Publishing 2008) and a novel, The Duration (Tyrus Books 2016).

1. When was the last time sports made you cry?

My dad’s from Baltimore and he and I were big Orioles fans when I was little.  In 1991 when the Os played their last game at Memorial Stadium they snuck all their old greats back into town and then, after the game was over and as the crowd waited in anticipation, each of these guys, starting with Brooks Robinson, ran out to their positions.  It was like a parade of ghosts.  People were transported.  My dad and I weren’t at the game but we got a tape of the ceremony and watched it in our living room together.  Devastating.

The video of that British sprinter Derek Redmond pulling his hamstring in the 400 semis at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and then his dad runs out of the stands to help him finish the race, that makes me cry every time too.  I tested it this morning and cried again.  I’m a sap.  I’m sure as my kids get older I’ll cry pretty much nonstop.

2. What’s your most treasured piece of sports apparel or memorabilia?

My father-in-law gave me a basketball signed by the 1995-96 Lakers – Shaq’s first year, Kobe’s rookie year, etc.  It’s probably worth something.  But if my house was on fire I’d leave it behind to save a faded blue North Lenox Mobil shirt I wore in little league back in 1978 or so.  My parents saved it all those years and now my son wears it sometimes.

3. Competed in any sports lately, at any level?

The usual Saturday morning pickup basketball game with the regulars – Commish, Rashad, Big Adam, Ticket, Little Adam, Joey Knuckles, O, etc.  Everyone should have a game like that, whatever the sport.

I’ve also been “competing” for the past nine years as part of a team called “Muscle Sandwich” in The Great Josh Billings Runaground, a bike-canoe-run triathlon held each September in western Massachusetts.  I’m the bread.  Josh Billings was sort of a poor man’s Mark Twain and the race adopted one of his aphorisms – “to finish is to win” – as its motto.  By that standard, we’ve won every year we’ve entered.

4. What’s your desert island sports movie or book?

Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby.  Just Enough LieblingNetherland by Joseph O’Neill.  For movies, The Karate Kid or Rocky.

5. What do you like to eat and drink while you watch sports?

Beer.  I’d like to say something better, like a lamb shank or something, but it’s just beer.

6. What’s the greatest length you’ve gone to watch or attend a game?

I spent 36 hours on a bus with a bunch of Czechs to make it to an international basketball tournament outside of Grenoble once.  We came in third.

7. Ever caught a foul ball?

Not yet.  But I keep bringing my glove.

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