Luke Lajoie Connors Manke steps to the plate
Saturday, August 31
He came in like a dream. A little small-ball, some hit and run for eight hours until mom said enough, and then a mad push to the plate amid the screams and cheers of players and spectators alike—as fine a debut performance as any in recent memory.
Luke Lajoie Connors Manke, a 6 pound, 15 ounce, rookie out of Fayette County measuring 21 inches tall, registered his first official plate appearance Saturday morning at 8:01 am.
Within hours of hearing about his arrival, young fans began to gather out in the hallway reserved for under-fourteen-year olds, there to cheer on their newest hometown favorite.
“Baby Luke! Baby Luke!” screamed the May Day Kid for a full 20 minutes, her arms thrusting skyward with each Luke.
“—Laj,” sang Asher and Dee Dee, their hands joined together and circling counterclockwise around the Kid until getting dizzy and falling.
Unbeknownst to the freshfaced rookie with a small tuft of black hair, the young fans were repeating a name rich in history and meaning.
Luke, for the Indianapolis elementary school attended by Mom; Lajoie for Hall of Fame Cleveland Indians second baseman Nap Lajoie, a turn-of-the-century batting rival to Ty Cobb. Lajoie was so beloved by hometown fans that they temporarily renamed the team the Cleveland Naps during his decade playing there—the last time the team would be known by anything other than the current dreaded Indians moniker.
Luke Laj has really taken to that part of the name, Dad, a native Clevelander, said. “Laj naps are already becoming legendary around here.”
Thus far, Luke Laj has been adjusting well to life in post-term ball. He currently leads the house in dirty diapers, is second in napping percentage, and has steadily been bringing his bilirubin counts down.
Baby Luke also seems real teachable.
“He took to his mother’s warmth immediately,” beamed Dad proudly, “just like Doctor Coach told him to.”