Two baseball lovers, George and Fred, had been friends all their lives. As children they played in Little League together, as teenagers they were on their high school team, as grown men they played in their church league, and as retirees they spent their summers watching baseball games together on TV or at the park.
When both men were very old, Fred began to feel his life slipping away from him. One day when George was visiting him, he asked Fred a favor.
“Sure, old pal,” said Fred.
“Fred,” said George, “when you get to heaven, you have to let me know if they have baseball there.”
“George, I promise you, if there’s any way I can do what you’re asking, I will.”
Fred died soon afterward. After the funeral, George went home and sat down in an armchair, and soon he fell asleep. He was awakened by a blinding light, and heard a voice calling his name.
“Who is it?” George asked, frightened.
“George, it’s okay. It’s me, Fred.”
“Fred! Is it really you? Where are you?”
“I’m in heaven. I have some good news for you, and some bad news. Which do you want first?”
“Give me the good news first.”
“Well, the good news is that there’s baseball in heaven! And all of our old buddies who died before us are here! And we’re all young again! And every day is warm and sunny! And we can play baseball all day long without ever getting tired!”
Naturally, George was overjoyed.
“That’s wonderful!” he said. “So what’s the bad news?”
“The bad news is you’re pitching Tuesday.”