The Boys and Girls of Summer


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Thread: The Boys and Girls of Summer

  1. #1

    The Boys and Girls of Summer

    Well, the seasonís over, and my team didnít make it to Post Season. So, now it looks like Iíll have time to write instead of watching baseball. I still may watch a few of the playoff games, and cheer on whoever is playing against The Dodgers. That's a tradition.

    I shared my love of The Game with my kids. We still try to make it to a few games a year, as a family. We talk about trades, and assorted crazy plays and games throughout the year. Itís just been part of our lives.

    In the beginning, I taught my kids the basics of catching and throwing. My daughter was older, and by the time my son was ready, he was in for it. I still remember lightly throwing the ball to him, and his young hand-eye coordination not functioning correctly. He cried when the ball hit him in the face. My daughter got easily frustrated with him, and tried to instruct my son. Itís a wonder he kept playing.

    But we all kept it up. We used to play "sandlot" style games. The neighborhood kids would meet us at the local field (weíd take a few with us). Some of my daughterís friends would join from the other end of town. The athletic ability varied quite a bit. One girl would literally scream in fear when a ball was hit at her. The twin boys (my daughterís friends), would smoke the ball so hard it hissed as it flew by my head.

    Usually I would pitch, and often my wife would catch. We kept score, and when the teams seemed lopsided, weíd switch players between teams. Weíd basically play until we got bored, or hungry. It was always a balance of serious play and goofy play. Close calls were made by consensus, with me being the tie-breaker. And if anyone is familiar with "make-up" calls, we did a few of those. Ball field justice.

    We carried on for a few years. Eventually, both my kids played in organized ball (my son in Little League, my daughter in school Softball). Neither was particularly talented or athletic, but they loved the game and it showed. We would still throw the ball around, mostly during camping trips. My son eventually learned to move his glove to the ball, and not catch with his face. My daughter learned to throw, and she did not throw "like a girl".

    Sometime around the start of high school, the "sandlot" games ended. Still, we have a local drive-in movie, and my daughter would always bring the ball and gloves. Before the movie, under the screen, weíd play catch. We set-up a three way between my son, daughter and me. My son would occasionally miss a catch, and run to the fence. My daughter would throw so hard that it stung my hand. Then Iíd crank it up a little back at her. She never backed off.

    Today, the kids are alright. The girl who screamed at incoming balls is now majoring in theology at a school down in Oregon. The twins both joined The Army. One of the girls is now a flight attendant. My daughter is on a break from school, working to pay off her student loans before she finishes. My son is getting ready to submit his application to the Coast Guard academy.

    None of them became professional ball players (especially with me coaching them). But they all learned what it was like hanging out with people you like, just having fun. No one got a participation trophy. They got the smell of grass, dirt and leather. An occasional skinned knee. Screams and laughter. Genuine smiles.
    I donít think any of them will go off and cure cancer. But theyíre good people.

    I donít know if the game helped with that. I know it didnít hurt.
    Except for the occasional ball to the face. Iím sure that hurt.

    "Now let's all agree, never to be creative again."




  2. #2
    Not bad. It's a little "As you know, Bob" in structure but it's just a one-page memoir so that doesn't hurt so much. I too am rooting against the Bums and against the Yankees whenever I can. My laundry is Cubbie blue though.
    Last edited by moderan; October 3rd, 2018 at 11:01 AM.
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    "From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it." - Groucho Marx

  3. #3
    Hi Winston. I'm a sucker for anything with sandlot baseball, pick up games, pr unorganized play. When I was a girl in Chicago, there was a lot of that. You just went out, saw who was there, and played. Your family sounds great, and if nothing else, you made a memory for those kids of yours. I still recall the games we played - dirty, sometimes rough, but always fun, always good natured and looking forward to the next time. We played in the streets or empty lots, whatever we could find. We shared mitts, but most often played barehanded. Your kids will remember those days too, and tell their own about the fun they had. I, too, am a fan of the Cubs.

    Good job, Winston, and I liked the read.
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    No, I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by moderan View Post
    My laundry is Cubbie blue though.
    I, too, am a fan of the Cubs.
    I'm a SF Giants fan. Way back to the (bad) old days of Candlestick Park. My wife and I still talk about the one game when the Cubs came to town. This guy behind us, for 9 straight innings...
    "CUBBIES!!!"
    "Give 'em the high heat!"
    "CUBBIES!!!"
    They are a NL Central rival, but I've always liked their fan base. Solid, no-nonsense baseball fans that respect the game. I was actually rooting for the Cubs against the Rockies. Well, there's always next year.
    Now, any Giants / Dodgers game? I took my wife to one... once. She said never again. I even told her I'd supply a flack jacket for blunt force trauma, and an umbrella for the rain of beer. Still, no.

    "Now let's all agree, never to be creative again."




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