Whatever else I do before finally I go to my grave, I hope it will not be looking after young people.
For many in baseball September is a month of stark contrast with April, when everyone had dared to hope. If baseball is a lot like life, as pundits declare, it is because life is more about losing than winning.
My egotistical concern was less that I would fail to relate to my classmates than that they would know nothing of my uniquely tortured life's course and, thus, me.
Planning to play: that's what saving for retirement is today - and it is antithetical to the nature of play, fully within the definition of work, and blissfully ignorant of the reality of death.
And then came the nineties, when management, suddenly frightened that they had ceded control to the players, sought to restore baseball's profitability by 'running the game like a business.
Finally, for all of us but a lucky few, the dream of playing big-time baseball is relinquished so we can get on with grown-up things.
More fundamentally, it is a dream that does not die with the onset of manhood: the dream is to play endlessly, past the time when you are called home for dinner, past the time of doing chores, past the time when your body betrays you past time itself.
This was nostalgia in the literal Greek sense: the pain of not being able to return to one's home and family.
I think that much of this was running in background as I contemplated whether or not to attend the PS 99 reunion, although I certainly anticipated that I would not; it smelled like death, not youth.
Better than anything else in our culture, it enables fathers and sons to speak on a level playing field while building up from within a personal history of shared experience - a group history - that may be tapped into at will in years to come.
In over 160 years of recorded baseball history, no team had ever won a championship this way.
Yes, we've seen it all before. And yes, those who do not study history are condemned to repeat it. But no, the sky is not falling - baseball is such a great game that neither the owners nor the players can kill it. After some necessary carnage, market forces will prevail.
For many of us, sport has provided the continuity in our lives, the alternative family to the one we left behind. It gives us something to talk about, to preen about, to care about.
As the game enters its glorious final weeks, the chill of fall signals the reality of defeat for all but one team. The fields of play will turn brown and harden, the snow will fall, but in the heart of the fan sprouts a sprig of green.
Baseball presents a living heritage, a game poised between the powerful undertow of seasons past and the hope of next day, next week, next year.