Thursday, April 05, 2012

Rites of Spring



Almost as far back as I can remember Spring has meant the return of baseball. These memories take on an almost mythic quality now, perhaps because they were possibly the only activity which a child could participate in that had an adult dimension. Once you got a slight mastery of the basic fundamentals you were "in the club" and ready to play, you could to follow teams and players, and, in our Northern climate, you could be outdoors.

Scattered mental images:

Buying baseball cards at Galenos grocery ("Duke Snider? He's washed up!")...

Playing against little league teams with real uniforms and sponsors- teams which had old men as coaches...

Going to an exhibition game and seeing Willie Mays pinch-hit a home run against the Minneapolis Millers...

Getting your own Mickey Mantle baseball glove...

Watching the Yankees play the Red Sox in old Fenway Park on a murky black and white TV...

Meeting 'Moose' Skowron in our neighborhood IGA...

Baseball played in tennis courts with a tennis ball...

Wiffleball played in the back yard...

Endless days of 'hell softball' 2 against 2 or 3 against 3 in 90° heat...

... the list of this pointless, innocent and cheap fun goes on and on.

Now, baseball is moneyball...

All grown up
...

Serious business...


Not so much fun anymore.

By Professor Batty



6 Comments:

Blogger Jono said...

I had a Mickey Mantle jacket when I was a kid and a guy that lived nearby gave me a baseball bat once. He had played for the Philadelphia Athletics. Wish I knew what happened to that bat.


Blogger Mary said...

Growing up in Pennsylvania, I remember sitting outside at picnics with my uncles and grandfather listening to the Pirates radio broadcasts. The Pirates' win at the 1960 World Series is one of my most vivid childhood memories. I saw Roberto Clemente play a number of times, the last being the 1971 World Series.

Yes, I am sentimental about baseball.


Blogger Professor Batty said...

Jono ~ I still have that Mickey Mantle glove.

Mary ~ Roberto Clemente! One of the greatest human beings of all time, and a pretty good baseball player too!


Anonymous Andy said...

I still have the autographed picture of Moose Skowren!


Blogger Professor Batty said...

I knew I had seen that somewhere- I may have had one too, but it is long gone.


Anonymous Jim G. said...

Great photo - reminds me of my park board team in the early 60's .. we were the worst! And despite the trauma of missed catches, strikeouts, weak throws and inevitable losses - we stuck with it and had fun.

Post a Comment