“The 7 Questions” is a new sports questionnaire—the Eephus way of capturing 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 Mark Chiusano, a columnist and editorial writer for Newsday and amNewYork, where he writes the daily newsletter about New York City, amExpress. His short story collection Marine Park received an honorable mention for the PEN/Hemingway Award. He was born and raised and lives in Brooklyn.
1. When was the last time sports made you cry?
Playing high school baseball and going through one of those dope periods where you just always let grounders go between your legs. After a game when I made a few errors and also broke a bat in half reaching for a high pitch, coach said, “Well, at least you swung hard.”
2. What’s your most treasured piece of sports apparel or memorabilia?
A 2003 Carmelo Anthony Denver Nuggets jersey that I pre-ordered as soon as he signed. My buddies growing up in Brooklyn made fun of me because of the random dude and pastel blue color, but little did we know Carmelo would be coming to New York City soon and we’d all be rocking his jerseys.
3. Competed in any sports lately, at any level?
My brother and I played for a semi-pro baseball team in Switzerland during the summers when we were in college. That was for the Embrach Mustangs, once known as the Embrach Rainbows, in addition to one season with the Zurich Lions. These days we play on a recreational men’s league basketball team in Manhattan, where the names are not as interesting and the bratwurst is only half as good.
4. What’s your desert island sports movie or book?
The Last Best League, by James Collins—my favorite sports book of all time. It’s about the Cape Cod Baseball League, featuring the best baseball in the country that you don’t get paid for. Where some of the best college stars come to Cape Cod for a summer, the last chance they’ll be amateurs before making it big or flaming out. Really fun to read the book now (it tracks one team for a single summer) and see who made it to the bigs.
5. What do you like to eat and drink while you watch sports?
Nachos, hot dogs, Cracker Jacks, light beers, pizza, that Blue Smoke pulled pork that they sell behind center at Citi Field. Before the third inning.
6. What’s the greatest length you’ve gone to watch or attend a game?
Six hour drive from Zurich to Stuttgart to watch the European baseball championships with some teammates. Our catcher drove the Autobahn as recklessly as our baserunning.
7. Ever caught a foul ball?