In front of everyone, I whipped out my eye and handed it to the umpire: “You’ll do better with this one.”

baseball

They sat so close to the field, they could see and hear everything.

At Ossining High School the baseball field was right in back of the school and the grandstand was very close to the playing field, particularly on the third base side. This is significant because on this particular day it was a play at third base where the umpire called me out. It was a bad call. I was clearly safe. I knew it and everybody in the stands knew it. They sat so close to the field, they could see and hear everything. In front of everyone, I whipped out my eye and handed it to the umpire: “You’ll do better with this one.” Talk about getting a laugh. I got a roar. Even the guys on the other team were rolling in the grass.

from Just One More Thing
by Peter Falk (September 1927 – )
Image – lauren nelson

Peter Falk’s Glass Eye

Peter Falk’s brush with cancer happened when he was just three years old. His right eye was removed because of Retina blastoma, a dangerous and well-known eye cancer. One of his first memories is of running around in a hospital room, eating an apple, talking to “a lot of adults who were lying in beds but not saying anything.”

He remembers dreading if other kids would ask, “Hey, what’s the matter with your eye – it looks funny – or how come one moves and the other don’t.” He says, “This sensitivity started decreasing in my early teens and was completely gone by high school. The kids were always electing me president. I felt comfortable with everybody and played sports and being with the guys on the street corner and in poolrooms where everybody needled anybody about anything – it was a very healthy atmosphere for me. This is where I learned I could get a laugh.”

For those of you who didn’t grow up watching Columbo, “just one more thing” was Peter Falk’s signature line. Columbo, the gregarious and rumpled detective, would stop in a doorway on the way out, then turn to say “just one more thing,” before pointing out an inconsistency that would lead to solving the case.

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