Marvin Rotblatt was my mother's first cousin, and my second cousin. Although I did not have any contact with Marvin during the last 20 plus years, I will always remember him, as being someone who had a rare ability to know what type of pitch a pitcher was going to throw in the ball games that we watched together.
He gave my mother his baseball glove, and she gave it to me, when I started to play baseball when I was around 8 or 9 years old. I was also very short, but became a very good pitcher in little league. I think there might be a genetic trait for pitching like some families have for art or music, which allows them to learn and play much better than others. To me, pitching was something that came naturally. I really loved to practice and pitch in actual games and I was surprised how I was able to strike out many excellent hitters when I focused and studied their swing and stance. I still like to pitch but rarely get the opportunity or have the time to do so.
I believe Marvin perfected his natural ability and I admired him for staying with it so long, until he was injured. I have always believed that a baseball pitcher is like a quarterback in football. They both are extremely important to a team's success.
I wish I still had Marvin's glove, I would give it to the University of Illinois to honor him. I think it must have been lost during one of the several moves to different cities I lived in when I was growing up. I will miss Marvin very much and was thinking of him during the Boston/St. Louis World series. I will always remember his ability to focus, and his smile and laugh, as well as the confidence he had in what he did exceptionally well. No matter what you do in life, be sure you do it better than others. If you do, it will become something you love, and will not seem like work.
Neal Taslitz, Wellington, Florida