And with that you can close the book on Calcaterra

When a starting pitcher leaves a game with runners on base, he is still responsible for them.  His day, statistically speaking, is not done until those runners either score, are retired or until the inning ends.  When that happens the announcer usually says “you can close the book on” the starting pitcher, because nothing else that occurs in the game will be attributable to his line in the box score.

I just read in the Columbus Dispatch that the Ohio Supreme Court has finally ruled on a case involving the Ohio Legislature. The substance of the case would be boring for most of you, but it’s interesting to me because I was the pitcher of record, having represented the Legislature while working for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. I had almost forgotten about the case in the past year. Reading about it this evening, it seems like something from a past life. Which I guess it is.

I took myself out of the game in November 2009 when I bailed for blogging, but there were still runners on base. The relievers who came in got me off the hook and, with today’s decision, we ended up winning.  Personally speaking I probably got a no-decision, but I pitched pretty damn well.  Either way, I was glad to see the outcome. Not just because my side won, but also because it happened to be the correct decision.  It’s not often both of those things happen in the same case.

But win or lose, it was a great game. The case helped me rekindle, well, not my love, but at least my fondness and respect for the law that I had lost in private practice. I lived and breathed it for nine months. It kept me up many nights.  But it touched on some elemental constitutional law questions. It required sophisticated legal thinking, writing and argument. My colleagues and I sat around and discussed competing legal theories just like I imagined I would always be doing back when I was in law school but never really did in private practice. No one ever talked about the amount of attorney time being devoted to the case.  Everyone just wanted to win it and to win it with our honor intact. We did.

And now that it’s finally over you can close the book on Craig Calcaterra’s legal career. Because unless I’m mistaken, it was the last case I worked on as a lawyer that was still active.  Soon the clerk will send the last file with my name anywhere in it to a storage room where it will be quickly – and justifiably – forgotten.

And though I probably don’t deserve the honor, I have it on pretty good authority that Ohio Attorney Registration Number 0070177 will be retired. Not a bad way to end a career, no?

Craig Calcaterra

Craig is the national baseball writer for NBCSports.com. He writes about things other than sports at Craigcalcaterra.com. He lives in New Albany, Ohio with his wife, two kids, and many cats.