John Paciorek’s definition of a perfect day:
Get up at about 3 a.m. at his San Gabriel home, do some metaphysical reading to prepare his mind, fire off some emails, pour a cup of coffee, run out to teach a group of elementary school kids all about physical education, come home for lunch, then go back out to coach or referee a football game.
Hopefully somewhere in there he sees his wife, Karen, who also works at the school.
In other words, that was what happened Friday.
Fifty years ago, perfection could have been measured in a much different way.
The Houston Colt .45s called the 18-year-old Paciorek up from their Class C-league team in Modesto for the last game of the regular season on Sept. 29, 1963, against the New York Mets. Houston was already 33 games behind the first-place Dodgers; the Mets, last in the West, were 48 games back.
By the time it was over, Paciorek, hitting seventh and playing right field, went 3-for-3 with three singles, walked twice, scored four times and drove in three runs in a 13-4 win before less than 4,000 spectators. He also handled two plays in the field flawlessly.
Then, by perfect illogical fate, he never played in an MLB game again.
“I’d have to say I’ve had it pretty good; I’m very happy,” the 68-year-old said from his home not far from the private Clairbourn School where he’s been the phys ed teacher for the last 37 years. Continue reading