In those brief weeks between winter and summer, described as spring by the rest of the world, one or two Sundays may occur on the South Shore of Boston that will give a man a benchmark by which other weekends to follow will be compared. Despite the well documented adaptability of the human species, we are happiest with seventy two degree temperatures, low humidity and slumbering insects. Last Sunday was one of those days and as fortune would have it, the team met to practice. The hitting was impressive. The pitching was actual. The fielding was sublime.
There were imperfections. I personally took a ball off the face playing First Base with a garden mitt for a glove. I left with a mildly bloody lip, the kind of pansy injury that you can still show your wife with pride. (I’ve often wished for a shark bite, the kind without tearing, where the animal clamps down just enough to leave teeth marks so that I might have a young woman ask me, “What is that scar?” To which I can reply, “Oh that?, Just a shark bite, no big deal.”).
Steamer left his sunglasses at the back stop, hung on the chain link, implying to all that cool doesn’t hit. We’re now woefully short on practice balls, implying a lot of guys are under-swinging and fouling into the swamp and thus increasing the team’s propensity toward Lyme disease. Overbill and two new guys talked me into a few at the Snug, implying that I am easily swayed toward fun.
Several new players were present on Sunday, all with skills. These new faces augmented the usual low attendance to a degree where we actually fielded a TEAM. Nails played at Catcher the whole duration of batting practice, a rare luxury for that exercise. Matt, a tall lefty and one of the new guys, did a great job pitching, platooning with Maddog. By the way, knee surgery works. Maddog was pitching with speed and control. Imagine your knee replacement choices in 1880? Hell, I’m 44 and would only have a life expectancy of another ten or fifteen years. Now they swap out your knees for new ones!
Stretch, Steamer, Philly, Overbill, and Myself were also present from the Veterans. Two other new faces, Gregg and Bill, are obviously good players and they seemed to have a good time, a perquisite for participation in this league. I think that was everyone. Sorry if I forgot any names. For those who didn’t make it, there’s always next Sunday. But only three Sundays until the BIG INDEPENDENCE WEEKEND game. Plans for the game are well underway. Dots is now back from his show in Seattle. He was all bogged down in “creating” stuff the last few months. I think he’s got it out of his system for a month or so.