Barry Zito helps us discover an important truth.

No, we don't know why we collect Barry Zito, exactly, but oftentimes when we read about him we find out other things about baseball that makes us glad we do.

First, The New Mexican reported today that Barry Zitolander pitched the third time in a row yesterday without getting sucked into his vortex of horrible as the Giants beat the Reds 4-2.

He pitched six innings, gave up two runs and three hits, and now he's 8-10 this year. Nothing special there. But then, the paper also quoted him in a story titled 'Field of Dreams' about the role that Farmington, NM has played in the lives of up and coming ballplayers.

In that New Mexico town there is a baseball diamond that has been the location for a wonderful baseball tournament, the Connie Mack World Series, a 10-team series

for 17- and 18-year olds from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. This is the 45th consecutive year Farmington will host the event. Who has played at Ricketts Park since 1965? To name a few, Mike Schmidt, Ken Griffey, Jr., Stephen Drew, Jeremy Hermida, MICAH OWINGS!, Brandon Boggs and Roy Halladay. And Barry Zito. He told the Associated Press, "It was a fun year. The experience was great. There's a lot of good competition in that league." He also said, "It was my first time eating sopapillas and I went horseback riding." Yes, that does sound like New Mexico.

South Troy fell in the opening round of the 2009 Connie Mack World Series. Will the East Cobb Yankees win it all again this year? Is the true spirit of baseball still very much alive? If it hadn't been for paying attention to Barry Zito, we wouldn't have discovered up-to-the-minute evidence that here in the Southwest, at least, the answer is yes.

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