Saturday, June 14, 2008


If there has ever been a finer day to play baseball, I haven't seen it. By our 10 a.m. game time, the sun was out and there was a slight breeze. Not typical this year, but nobody was complaining.

Today we were hosting a neighboring city's league. Ten games played over the course of the day on two abutting fields, good fields, the ones where this year's state championships will be held, scoreboards and announcers and concessions.

Coach P. got there early and hit fly balls to the kids from the other team who were standing around. Soon enough their coach showed up and we introduced ourselves.

"How do you want to do this today?" I asked. "We usually play prison rules."

He stared at me for a moment until Coach P. started laughing. Then he laughed too.

"This is a hell of a thing you've got going," he said. "Look at this place."

"Thanks," I said. "The city and the league work together really well." They do, and it's been a source of pride to a lot of people for a lot of years.

The announcer started calling names and we stood along the base lines with our caps over our hearts as the National Anthem played. Halfway through, a float plane came by low, heading for a nearby lake.

"Not quite the Blue Angels, but it'll do," muttered Coach P.

The game was fine. The visiting league is new and still putting together the pipeline needed to field competitive teams at this level. Our guys looked good, they got some hits and made some plays and the game was never in much doubt. Coach P. and I were able to spend our time talking with the parents and the other team's coaches and it couldn't have been better.

"I used to say I'd move north if I won the lottery," the other team's assistant coach told me during one inning. "I've changed my mind. I'd move here."

"We'd love to have you," I said.

Afterward, when we were sitting under a canopy eating hamburgers and bratwurst one of the parents from the other team walked by.

"Thanks for coming out here," I said.

"Thanks for inviting us," she said. "This was great."

"Your coaches, they're really nice guys," I told her.

"I'm not sure I agree, but that's because I'm married to one of them," she replied.

"You sound like my wife," I said. "Anyway, I hope your teams are back next year."

"Actually, we're moving over here this fall," she said.

"Well, that's great," I said, and it is. Over here we've got good fields and g00d kids and we can always use another good coach.


Righteous Bubba said...

President Obama will institute a National Win Tax after which your win total will be a maximum of 66% of the total wins your team achieves, with the remaining wins being redistributed to needy inner-city teams.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

I refuse to comment here anymore until those kids learn how to lose.

Good job and happy father's day!

Brando said...

Snag, how many games do you play in the season?