See the Turtle of enormous girth, on his shell he holds the Earth.
His thought is slow but always kind, he holds us all within his mind.
On his back all vows are made, he sees the truth but mayn’t aid.
He loves the land and loves the sea, and even loves a child like me.
(Stephen King, It)
Coming into this season, I was a non-believer. Don’t flag me for religion, though, because I’m not talking about that type of faith. No, I was a critic at the altar of Willians Astudillo.
Call it me being wary of the “fun player on a bad team” syndrome—I once considered Scott Diamond to be amongst my favorites and also owned a Chris Colabello mini-cowbell—but I was skeptical that Astudillo would make much of an impact on a hopefully-contending Twins team. I saw him as the prototypical “last man on the roster” who could easily be upgraded as the season rolled along.
Of course, as I type this La Tortuga has six hits in 10 ABs this season, including three doubles and five runs scored. Not only has he proved his worth to the roster, but he’s actually been a catalyst for it as well.
As a longtime fan of Stephen King’s works—he’s my single favorite author of all-time—I can’t believe I didn’t see this coming all along:
In a number of King novels (most prominently It & the Dark Tower series), the Turtle—named Maturin—is a magical, God-like being that guards one of the beams holding up the Dark Tower, or the center of all existence. It is said that our known universe was created when the Turtle had a stomach ache, came out of his shell, and vomited us all into existence.
This Turtle’s physical form is captivating to humans, vampires, and the Can-toi (or “low men”), and a scrimshaw carving of it was once used by Jake Chambers & Father Donald Callahan—friends of Roland the Gunslinger—to facilitate a rescue effort on behalf of fellow compatriot Susannah in what came to be known as The Battle of the Dixie Pig.
Later on in its existence, the Turtle helped the Loser’s Club of Derry, Maine perform the Ritual of Chud, providing them the strength to defeat the evil life-force It (then in the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown).
So let’s so here, the Turtle...
-Is basically the reason for our continued existence
-Is inhumanely powerful to mortal beings
-Provides strength to teams in need
-Guards a line that should never be crossed by evil (a strike-zone if I’ve ever heard one...)
That sounds like our guy to me!
In case you aren’t yet convinced, much like I wasn’t to start this season, I present two additional pieces of evidence to bolster the case:
- One of the other guardians of the Dark Tower’s beams? The Hare (seriously).
2. The other day, my two-and-a-half year old niece spent some time at an indoor mall playground. It’s what two-and-a-half year old’s do during Minnesota winters. This was the picture I received from the experience...