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The cane hit the blacktop first. Mayor Thomas M. Menino then eased himself out of his black sport utility vehicle, balancing on the wooden walking stick upon arriving for a playground dedication in Jamaica Plain.
This was no regular black cane, nothing like what the mayor has relied on for the past several months. It was a baseball bat. A 29-inch Louisville Slugger, to be exact, outfitted with a curved maple handle at the top. A black rubber stopper on the bottom seemed to give Menino an extra spring in his step Friday as he approached a schoolyard full of children.
Kids clamored to touch it. (“I like your cane, Mr. Mayor.”) Adults admired the handiwork. (“That cane is fantastic.”) And reporters gave hizzoner a little extra space.