Monday, September 13, 2021

9/12/21 GGP *SHUTOUT*

 



So much for the end of our GGP run.  Back at the same field, the temperature slightly warmer for the first part of the game, and then the fog really rolled in and it was right back where it has been all summer, cold and miserable.  The game on the other hand, was great, if you were on the visitors team.

Sean Paul completed a 9-0 shutout, full stop.  It was a pleasure to watch a master craftsman at work, even though it was my team. 

We had our chances, and Satch threw 8 innings of decent ball, but it was not to be.  I don't feel like I was serving them up, with a few exceptions, but the runs were steady and regular as milking Bessie.  Sean was just not able to be touched, we went down in order at least 4 of 9 times, and a lot of what got us base runners was errors and hustle.  Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear he eats you.

I will take this moment to highlight that our team turned 5 double plays!  Some the old fashioned way, some on line drives, either way, it is probably the only reason the score was not 16-0.  Cap tip to the homers.

In addition to his pitching performance, Sean also had a deep drive to right center, along with The Big Blue Bomber, and Mitch, who was trading doubles.

We could never really get anything started, our biggest threats were always with 2 outs, and that is no way to rally.  

Final score: 9-0, visitors.

Highlights:

* The battery of Sean and John McG, complete games for both of them, awesome day!

* Thanks to everyone that swung at the knuckelball

* Nick W. almost broke me with foul balls on his at bats

* Don made a long running catch in left that robbed us of a chance

* I had one hit I can be proud of and one that I got on base because the 3rd baseman tripped over the infield grass.

* I counted about 6 dink hits into left that all fell 3 feet in front of Bob, maddening

* Carter was out with Charlie, who I think we should have had pinch hit....

* Urano was our play starter for most of the DPs, and also threw a lights out 9th.

* With a few exceptions, every hard hit ball we had went directly to some one

* JT came within 6 inches of a great 2-out knock

* I almost lost a shin to Mike Lattig come backer, luckily I was able to dodge it

* Scoops from Nick S. and Adam at 1st were on display

Thanks to all that played, it was great to have 19!

S. Paige

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

8/29/21 GGP (Final Game)

 I didn't think there was anyway I was making it to the game.  Kids were equivocal when I asked if they wanted to play, as was Mrs. Paige.  However, there also didn't seem to be anything better to do, and we knew the air would at least be fresh.  And fresh it was, to the point that the family was freezing about 30 minutes after we go there.  Well, that is why you ar supposed to keep moving....

We arrived in the 4th inning, with the score 2-1 visitors, Nick W on the mound, and Lattig for the homers.  It seemed like a split of the old guard and the new guard with a few exceptions for fairness, at least Chris P and Urano were on different teams.

Phelps and I agreed that I would be squeezing if he got to third while I was up.  Well that didn't happen, but I managed to gork a ball to short right and outrun the throw to first (barely) for runners at 1st and 3rd with no outs.  Yes, a great opportunity for the ol' "get picked off and hope that the runner at third can score" play.  Nick did the best he could, but that play is a real bummer for the pitcher, the change in direction has to be perfect.  Brian scored easily, and I got to sit down.  Win-win, scored knotted at 2.

Phelps came into throw and Dan came in for the visitors.  The wheels came off quickly, and we pounced on the errors and new pitching to the tune of 5 runs.  Phelps held the visitors, looking nothing like a guy who hadn't pitched in 2 months.

The play of the day was an almost... Dan hit a monster to right center, and was off to the races.  JT was running it down, and he and Urano got to it, and Urano threw a laser to home on one hop just as Dan was bearing down.  In the park homerun for Dan.  Almost the most amazing MBC defensive play ever.  No one thought it would be close, including Bob who was just trying to stop the ball rather than thinking about applying the tag.  A great hit, a great throw, and an almost great play.

Satch took over in the 8th for a two run "save", almost overturning the boat.  The visitors came back and scored 3 runs before I was able to secure the final out for a 9-5 victory.

Highlights:

* Thanks to everyone that came out and made it a real game, with sitting and everything.

* Lil Satch and lil Josh Gibson were in the mix, playing outfield, and running for JT and Bob who were nice enough to give them a chance.  And Lil Satch scored a run, basecoached by his dad, what a treat!

* Mike Lynch's expensive $198 bat was the casualty.  Let's remember not to use others bats without permission.

* Also that one should never spend more than $50 on a bat (West Coast Sports in San Leandro has a lot of quality $40 bats).

* Someone hit a triple, but I don't remember who it was.

* Thanks to Chris L, John McG, Don, Bob for catching.

* Also a great catch from Chris L on a difficult foul ball behind the dish

* Adam had a whole cheering section out

* No sight of the band, hopefully they have not given up on us

* Our team had the record for left handed infielders in non-1st base positions

* I somehow managed to be 3-3 with a run scored.

* I apologize for any action or great plays that I didn't cover before I got there.

Friday, August 13, 2021

8/8/21 GGP

 




Finally a game with enough players so we weren't running back and forth covering the defense the whole game.  17 players, that is like a plethora of players these days!

I showed up late due to bridge traffic, and they were still in the top of the first, so I hadn't missed much.  Sonny was on the hill, but he wasn't happy about it.  His arm was feeling pretty off, and I promised to take over for him once I had a chance to warm up.  Carter was throwing for the other team, after appearing out of the blue.  He brought one of his kids with him, so hopefully this is a good sign for the future, though we have been fooled by the Rockwell's before.

The game was sort of close for a bit, surprising given that Chris P was on the other team, and he is usually good for a run an inning, as well as some good pitching.  That being said, I don't know if the visitors ever had the lead, but I do know that we tacked on runs at a pretty good clip.  The game wasn't slow, per se, but I think it started late, and we all had a case of the fog drowsies.  

We decided to end the game after 7 innings, Sonny threw 2 and I threw 5.  Catchers were a premium, especially after Chris L took a foul ball in the twig and berries.

What we did have was a lot of new guys, recruited by HR, and Carter: Tyler (?), Eduardo, the Blue Bomber (bedecked in Dodgers gear, and swinging from the heels like a madman), and a bearded guy whose name I didn't get, but who was an interesting final out of the game.  Nick W had taken over for Don behind the dish after a quad injury seized him running to first.  I threw a pretty perfect fastball to the outside corner, and Nick shrugged and called it strike 3.  The batter disagreed, and Nick felt bad for ending it that way, and I figured it wasn't that big of a deal, so we kept going.  Suddenly I couldn't throw strike three (four) and then he hit a double to left to score two runs.  

Mercy is for the weak.  

Soon after, it ended for real, the final score a soft 11-8.

Highlights:

* Thank you to everyone that came out, and for the new blood!

* No band this week, hopefully they have not given up on us

* New guy dove in center for a ball, we explained to him soon after that sort of thing tends to injure more than help, and he would soon lower his standards if he came out more

* Anna had a great rope to left

*Don and I managed to communicate for an entire game with him calling signs for what he thought was sliders and me throwing changeups.

* Adam had some real nice digs at first, but we also had a lot of passed balls at first

* Don kept playing after he hurt himself, thanks for the guts!

* Marcie had a nice situational at bat and netted herself a RBI

* Chris P laid off all the cheese I was serving him, to my surprise.

* Carter ran out of gas on a particularly frustrating inning that his team could not get a out.  He was shotputting the ball by the end.  I promised that I would get that 3rd out, and I did.

* He also played me at 380ft in left to catch my hardest hit of the day

* We successfully made a "check the runner, go one" play.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

7/25/21 GGP

 Well of all our games that was by far the most recent.....

The summer doldrums continue,  though unlike last week there was no saving have of late comers,  and we ended up with 10 players.  10! 

Once again we ask why we have 102 people on the email chain and can't field a game.  I'm part of the problem but dammit I wanted a game.  What we got was 3 batters and 7 fielders,  pitchers and catchers playing 6 outs. It was something. 

I can't say who won,  but Urano and Mike N were the big hitters, but everyone got at least one good smack I think. 

 James made a couple of great running catches after he muffed one.  

JT almost had a great catch and then made up for it later in the inning.  

I caught 3 line drive comebackers that seemed to each be harder than the last. 

HR had the dirtiest opposite field hit, followed by me. 

The score was not outlandish and the defense held up pretty well considering.  The band was out and entertained us.  The 7th inning stretch was whenever they wanted it to be. 

I managed to catch a pop fly in front of the pitchers mound,  barely. 

There was a double play. 

I think we had fun. 

There was an honest discussion as to could you tag a ghost runner to start a double play....

I challenged James with 2 change ups and a slider for my only K of the day. 

Hopefully more will come out soon. 

7/18/21 GGP

 Satch was off in the West, enjoying a relaxing long drive with the family.  There is a real slice of heaven in Westcliffe, CO, I can tell you... Mike Lattig was at the game, in fact, he was the game as it turns out, and he filed this report.


When Greg hadn’t heard back from the ‘usual suspects’ who take the gear when he can’t, it was pretty obvious that we were going to be shorthanded this weekend. Add to that the knowledge that Satch is up in the Rockies, having Bob teach his boys to hunt squirrel for dinner. And Anna has joined Nick and his family at their estate (or some such) in Maine. And Urano has disappeared. And… well, you get the picture. 

And it was pretty bleak as 3pm approached. At first, it was me, Mitch, and a bunch of gear. Then Adam and Mike N trickled in. Then, John and Arson after a long absence. And HR after time away in the mountains… things were getting intriguing. But we still didn’t have a solid 9, let alone enough for a game.

So we bided our time with some infield. Then started into batting practice when, voila, out of the cornfield came the cavalry. Dan, Don, James, Stoner, and Marcy all made the scene. Giving us an excuse to put the bag of balls away and call it an even 6 on 6. Even better, Marcy got on the horn to secure a couple more participants, who arrived just in time for the 2nd inning.

We decided to keep the outfield to 2 so as to reduce the amount of switching and such, which was about the spirit of the game. Really, not one I was going to write up except for… the no hitter.

Sure, it was just six innings. And sure, we were all in a pretty lackadaisical mood considering the turnout and the encroaching fog. But, as I had told Adam when we were warming up, my arm was feeling good. And boy if that didn’t turn out to be true. The slider had a little extra tilt. The curveball tighter and later breaking than usual. And one by one, the week grounders and pop ups piled up.

I didn’t even know it was happening until we came off the field in the fifth and I was planning to hand the ball over to HR. But once we figured out that, indeed, there had not been a hit - just two base runners from errant throws on cleanly fielded ground balls - I had to go out for the sixth.

And right out of the gate, Marcy smacked a line drive up the middle. I thought the fun was over, but Dan had her shaded, fielded it on one hop, and made the throw. Then Marcy’s friend (sorry to forget her name, it was her first time swinging a bat and she made contact both times up!) came up and knocked one right back to me for out number two.

Up came Mike N, who had the only really hard hit ball of the game leading off. But it was a liner to left, where Mitch was waiting. For the first time all game my command faltered, and Mike had to wait out the first two walks of the game before grounding one to short - which hopped up on dan and went off his glove then chest. A ‘hit or error’ debate ensued. And two pitches later, after another week groundball out by John, we decided it must have been an error. The no hitter was complete!

  • Shoutout to John for towing the rubber for the other team and consistently throwing strikes. We were pretty light on pitching, and Mike N had to catch. So in lieu of sending Adam, Stone, Marcy, or James to the mound, the game was his from start to finish…
  • Mitch continued to rake, getting us off to a quick start that we never looked back from. Maybe it ended 8-0 or so? 
  • Don was a vacuum at third for our side, contributing greatly to the no hitter
  • Arson called a great game, really understanding when the curve and slider would best be deployed
  • I’ve apparently developed a bad habit of not running out groundballs. I’ll have to rectify that…

Same time and place next week. Hope to see more of you there!

Saturday, July 10, 2021

7/4/21 GGP DoubleHeader











I feel like we really deserved this game, last year's 4th of July came a and went with very little fanfare.  No BBQ, no beer, Don just walked away with another year of the AOY trophy.  So this year was nice to have something familiar, and a great game to boot.  

Yes, I said game.  We ended up playing one long game with an intermission.  Or maybe we didn't.  It was a fluid kind of thing.

Greg started for the visitors, and Sonny for the homers.  Greg had his 17 Reasons shirt on for good luck, and Tony had his custom made MBC uniform.  In general, the visitors had a lot the more mature players of the MBC, but also a smattering of the new crew.  The homers definitely had the advantage on paper, and it turns out, in reality too.  They scored first and often.  they also had every lefty just about, and they seemed to hit in bunches.  The visitors was more of a happy go lucky kind of thing, we scored our runs the old fashioned way, by hoping the other team made errors.  Tony followed Greg, and I think Phelps and McG and Mike N. followed Sonny

I won't attempt to recap the whole thing, mostly because a week has gone by now and it is hard to remember, but I can say that it was a great first 9 innings, and we managed to the tie the game up in the 9th, only to let it slip away in the bottom of the ninth thanks to a long drive, a fast runner, and a veteran player in left field.  First pitch, Sean blasted to left, over Bob's head, and enough away that he had a triple for sure, and a homerun once we realized that it was going to have to be a 3-man relay to get it home.  He deserved it.

BBQ was off the hizzy this year, thanks to lots of healthy side salads, Anna's cornbread, which was used to bribe a park official who had a beef about our charcoal grills, a tri-tip from Grass Valley Will, and lots of good times sharing laughs and food with friends.  I know I wasn't the only one that was grateful that we are able to start getting life back to normal-ish.  I hope things continue to go in that direction.

Awards for this year: Anna Marjavi was our walkaway Rookie of the Year, as she comprises all that we value in the game, drive, spunk, good sense of humor, regular attendance, and the ability to reliably catch, throw, and hit the ball.  And as usual, she also suffered from a frustrating game of defense and offense all day.  It never fails, win an award for great play, have a not-so-great-play day.  Happens all the time, but no matter, big congrats and thanks to Anna for her spirit and play over the last year plus.

The Asshole of the Year has been wrested away from Don, who didn't even have the guts to show up this year.  The AOY trophy went to a man who has personally contributed to the degradation and ruination of the great game of baseball, our own pitcher's cheat wholesaler,  Pelican pine tar stick producer Dave Phillips.

The 2nd game got a little sloppy as it usually does, and we lost a few players without a 2nd game reinforcement that we usually have in years past.  I started for the visitors, and Sean for the homers.  Sean was pitching his ass off, and we were not able to do much.  I had to leave in the middle of the game, and I don't know if they played the full 9, or stopped at 7.  The game was suffering from severe torpor at that point.  And still the most fun that anyone can have.  

Happy Birthday America!

Highlights

* Big hitters for the day: Will, Dan, Sean, Chris P., Mike L  All of these guys hit the piss out of the ball, I think Will had about 5 doubles.  Dan might have had the longest drive to right center.

* Double plays helped both teams out of jams

* John McG had the hardest line drive of the day

* More than one pop foul to the catcher was caught, a difficult play

* WE had a lots of fans, mostly to do with Adam's daughter

* RBI Ed was on the scene and even managed to wash his uniform some time in the last 12 months.

* The game was changed by a suspect fair ball call down the left field line.

* I managed to throw out a runner at first from right field, all while being trucked by Adam who was playing second 

* Doc came out and umpired a spell, and then faded back into the corn field

* Knuckleball was working pretty good at one point

* The weather was the usual mixture of heavy fog, wind, 10s of sun, etc.

* Daniel D. drove up from Monterey, and got his doubleheader fix

* Dennis saw the panic of the week before when no one showed up and decided to bolster our numbers.  He is post-back surgery, so thanks to him for his willingness to sacrifice himself

* Nick Smith saw the old 2018 sign up sheet that still listed him as bringing a Weber and was guilted into coming.  By any means necessary.

* At one point we had a little league style play where everyone ran after the ball, abandoned their bases, allowing the runners to advance.

* Mental note, maybe we need to bring either exclusively propane from now on, or a metal bucket to assure any rangers that we will be disposing of coals properly.

* I apologize if I missed any other plays, email me and I will add

Thanks everyone for showing up, and staying safe.  I love this game so much, it's great to see if survive and thrive.

S. Paige.

Monday, June 21, 2021

6/20/21 GGP #3

Roundabout game-time I was torturing the kids in the car about having to come play baseball with me for Father's Day after we got back from our camping trip....but of course, I knew that was a pipe dream, because at 3pm we were somewhere around Rio Vista, stuck in the 4-way intersection.  Still better than 80 any day of the week.  Mike L was there, and he filed this report:

Week 3 in Golden Gate Park, and while the weather looked more like Week 2 (a bit gray, but not too windy), the game itself shaped up to be a cleaner affair with more than full sides on each bench. 

It started as a matchup of veteran right handers, with Sonny spinning balls off the mound for the visitors while yours truly (Mike L) took the bump for the home team. All in all, a solid start for both of us. I was able to hold the visitors mostly in check through four innings, exiting down 2-0 on the strength of a fourth inning that saw Urano and Adam both do what they should have done with pitches right down the pipe - smoke them up the middle for a hit. Those hits plus some stolen bases and a couple of errant throws erased my attempt at four clean innings but left us in good condition overall. 

That’s because once I was out of the game our offense got to work, stacking up four runs in the bottom of the fifth to give us a lead with Mitch, Greg, Marcy, and Me all reaching base before an out was recorded, and reaching home safely before the third out was made. 

The beneficiary of those runs was Sean, who followed me on the hill and quickly claimed the title ‘King of the Comebacker’, as hitter after hitter knocked one back at him (including a life-threatening line drive from Bob), and as expected Sean handled them all with ease. I think there were 5 (could have been 6) comebackers over Sean’s four innings. Including one where he caught Liam (how had arrived late from high up in the mountains) leaning off third to help erase a threat. 

Sonny bowed to Phelps after 5 solid innings, turning it into a battle of the lefties as we headed late into the game. We were able to tack on a run against Phelps (Greg driving in Mitch) which proved handy as ultimately the visitors were able to scratch 3 runs across against Sean to tighten things up. 

But that is as tight as they would get, as Chris came in looking sharp to get the last three outs - a single the only blemish on the back of his baseball card for the day. All in all, a fun day at the yard, a nice sub-3-hour game, and plenty of good spirits as we all enjoy the post-pandemic life. 

Highlights: 

·       We would have had a runner thrown out at the plate for the second straight week, as Mitch came charging hard on a liner to left as Urano charged hard around third. Sadly, the relay was not to be, as Tony started to throw before he ever had the ball fully in his glove. Probably could have stopped, looked at it, added some Pelican Grip, then thrown and still gotten the out…. 
·         James hit a prodigious blast just foul down the left field line that came up about three feet short of landing in the middle of a family picnic….
     The McGrath boys both banged doubles deep into the gap for a nice Father/Son Father’s Day combo 
·         Marcy had a solid day at the plate, roping a line drive to third that unfortunately was right into Bob’s glove (6 inches either way it’s a hit!) 
·         Adam continued to square the ball up, and this week he actually got rewarded with hits. 
·         T-shirt Mike was a vacuum at third, which was much appreciated by his fellow shorts-wearing pitcher… 
·         We had a few groups of family and friends as spectators which is always nice and is a perfect lead in reminder to bring the family out for the 4th of July. The doubleheader and BBQ are a GO and we will be circulating the sign-up sheet soon!


Monday, June 14, 2021

6/13/21 GGP- Game 2

From what I understand, not quite the same affair as last week, but I think we had a good game.  The fog was thick, yet it was warm-ish.  We had 15 at our high water mark, and there were some excellent plays.  Most of which were at home, in an amazing twist.  Seriously, I think we set a record for MBC outs at home.  

Tony started for the homers, and Nick W. for the visitors.  The first 3 innings seemed to take a very long time, but I wouldn't know because I showed up late.  After dropping off lil" Satch and lil' Josh Gibson at sleepaway camp, I worked my way home and then raced across the bridge.  I was glad I did.

Doc!  The old man makes another appearance and umpires most of the game....

Setting up the controversy, what do you do when one team gets the umpire for half an inning, and the other gets their own catcher calling the balls and strikes.  Good thing we are all honest people, I suppose.

Double plays!  We each had those too, the defense was really locked in for most of the game as well.  Fly balls were a little tougher, with the fog and the wind, but ground balls were in good supply.  We almost had another double play, but Anna legged it out and beat the throw.

Dan took the ball from Tony, and then I took the ball from Dan.  It was nice to play on a field with a mound, and everything was working pretty good.  Knuckleball had a little extra mess on it from the moisture, which also helped with the other stuff, what with wet air raising the seams on the ball.  John McG came in for 2 and then Mike N after that.  

The game had spiraled out of control for our team by that time, and the score was 10-5.  We had calculated that the game would be around 18-7 by the end.  The visitors were stacked with a real Murderer's Row, every hitter a danger.  And they proved it, I saw hard hit balls from everyone: Bob, Anna, Urano, James, Mike N, John McGrath, and Nick W.

We tried for a comeback, and made it about half way, the ending was eventful enough for us to have fun, but we didn't tie the game and force us all to try and finish.  We called the 8th inning the 9th, since we were all ready to go, and the game had dragged on into 6pm.  The band was out and they played through their whole set about 4 times, much to their credit they sounded awesome, and they waiting a long time to get to the 7th inning stretch.  They had also played the Bye Bye Baby song in honor of Urano that has hit an in the parker the inning before.

A great game, in a beautiful setting, with good people.

Highlights:

* The plays at home!  Amazing throws from Urano, Nick W., and James.

* James also hit a rocket to the moon in left

* Ed Sidawi in the flesh!  Apparently he has a reprieve from shuttling his kid around.

* The Mike L's were a great power back-to-back lefty combination all day

* Greg had a nice poke up the middle and almost got thrown out again by James from deep center field.  

* Anna continued her hitting tear

* Doc did a good job of umpiring, though he got overruled by Greg a few times

* A lot of our rally was thanks to throwing errors by the other team, in other words, a real MBC rally.

* I somehow managed to strike out more than a few, and even got Mike N and James on nasty change ups.  That felt good.

* There was a pretty good average on pop flies which I thought were usually trouble.

* RBI Ed must be out of practice

* Tony took his bat all the way down the line, and was almost was safe as the ball was bobbled, he eventually tripping over the bat and falling past the base.  Luckily he was alright....

* There was another play at home, involving Satch of all people.  I had started at first after another droopy single, and that was no place to be scoring from.  But Dan scorched the ball and as I came around third, Dan was being waved on (I think) by our team past second.  So I had nowhere to go but home.  The throw beat me by a wide margin, from James again I think, and John McG was ready for me, except he didn't think I would slide.  And so I did, though I thought it was going to end like this:


But I managed to slide at a 45 down angle towards the plate, and got my big ass foot on the plate before John could reach down to tag me.  It was a good feeling.

Thanks to all that showed up, it was a great game to be a part of.

S. Paige


  

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

6/6/21 Report from the Salt Mines (GGP)

 I was not able to make it to the game, but the first of our residency at GGP was a good one, and here with the recap is Ol' Reliable himself, Mike Lattig:

It was a beautiful day to be back in GG Park. Not just because the wind was still howling and St Marys would have been unbearable. But because the sun was shining, the hawks were flying, the old-timey game was happening - with all the fans and beer drinking that that entails - and the promise of a better field brought out a number of our old timers who we haven’t seen as much of lately. 


Namely James (kid), Rich (kids), Don (baby - as in he is one, not has one), Ben (kids - but because he’s a teacher, not a father), and Stone (kids). Also making his first appearance in forever was our once and future umpire, Doc. It was great to see him, and he didn’t look a day over however old he is. 


Sean and Sonny did the pitching honors to inaugurate our three-month run in the park, though with the sides at 12 v 12 it was clear they weren’t going to get to run the length of the game. And it looked at the outset like Sonny’s day might be more dictated by effectiveness than numbers, as the home team struck for one in the first and two in the second. But after that, our bats got awfully quiet. 


Meanwhile, Sean had it all going - stymieing the visitors with his varied arsenal and fantastic movement. Along with a complete layout grab in CF by Rich to end a threat early in the game. As Sean said coming off the mound - It took a former minor leaguer to maintain the shutout. But maintain it we did, as Sean wrapped up 5 innings of shutout ball and handed the ball to McGrath. 


This is where my details get fuzzy, but needless to say a comeback was afoot. And after two innings pitched by John, HR came in for the 8th. By the time the third out was made, we were tied up 3-3. Chris P gets the credit for holding the home team in check, with some nice defense behind him. In fact, defense was solid for a good portion of the game with a couple perfectly mission-style exception innings. (Though a quick note to James - go with a full throw on the infield rather than trying to lob it.)


I think we had a relay throw to the plate for an out at one point (Maybe Greg from LF to someone to home…), we had Urano making leaping catches and running over the shoulder grabs out into CF (shoutout to Stone for not plowing him down), as well as taking a DP himself to end an inning… Just a solid defensive day all around. 


So, we head to the bottom of the 8th all knotted. Yours truly started things and jumped into the wayback machine with a long drive into left center for a double. Sean followed with a line drive back up the box that somehow skipped by Don in CF, allowing me to score and (because he hustles) Sean to get all the way to third. After a comebacker left him still at 3rd with one out, Sean put the contact play on for himself. Only he stopped and admired the high chopper hit to Sonny at third before remembering that he’d done so… 


What ensued was the best rundown in a long time. I’m guessing it took at least 6 throws to get him Sonny to Mike to Sonny to Mike to Chris to Someone to Chris…. All that effort allowed Virgil to scoot his way to second, which we ultimately cashed in with another base hit (sorry, forgetting who got it - maybe JT?) to make it 5-3. 


That extra run would prove necessary as HR went for the 2-inning save, giving up a couple of hits to make it a one run game before stranding the tying run at 3rd with a nasty strikeout of Dan. 


All in all, an exciting and fun way to kick off our run in the park. A few other notes:


  • In addition to Rich’s impossible catch in the OF, Adam smoked one to left that HR somehow ran down. Greg went a LONG way in left to corral a drive from… I think Chris P? And Don got a great jump to snag a shot I hit into CF. All in all a great day for outfielders, who were clearly thankful to be done with Saint Marys

  • Anna’s bat has been coming around lately, and she had at least one hit, plus hard contact just about every time. 

  • As mentioned above, Urano gets a gold star on defense for multiple tough plays

  • Mike N seemed to hit a line drive every time up. Which wasn’t that surprising… 

  • Greg was looking spry in LF and at the plate, including a nice line drive to center that we’re calling a hit - even if JT got forced out at 2nd

  • Rich’s kids continue to show us that genetics definitely play a big role in athletic ability… 

  • No band this week due to a previous engagement, but hopefully we’ll see them out there next week!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

5/30/21 St Mary's









One final time at the old wind tunnel before we move to our new residency in the park.  IT was a great game, the sun made the wind less of a freezing affair, and we had 17 players.  I had some weird elbow tweak that I was nursing, so I told Greg that I had decided not to throw many/any breaking balls.  He liked the challenge.  Sean started for the other team, and that is how it began and how it ended.  

Yep, Sean and I each pitched complete games, like a real ball game.  

There had been concern at the beginning that the teams were mismatched, and they might have been, but in the opposite direction.  Our team seemed to not be able to hit its way out of a paper bag, and Sean's team was crushing the ball.  Our defense held up pretty well, especially under the adverse wind conditions, but still they were averaging a run or two an inning.  We only scored 2 the whole game.  The other team had lefty after lefty, and they made JT run all over right field the entire game.

With neither of us bowing out, the game moved along quickly, and there were some gems made in the field.  Chris P made several catches in short left, as well as an amazing diving catch while covering left for the other team.  Mitch played 2nd, and caught pop ups as well as made the turns on some great plays.  I think we turned 2 at least once, and had opportunities a couple other times. Anna played 1st and made some strong plays, including a perfect toss to me covering the bag on a ground ball.  

We could do everything except score runs.

Final Score: 8-2.  

Highlights:

*  Mike N was at least 4-5, maybe 5-6 on the day

* Anna had a great hit late in the game, and made it count, coming around to score one of our two runs

* T-Shirt Mike also had a great day at the plate, bashing doubles and triples

* Pitching without a curve was good, but not having a 2-strike go to pitch was tough.  I had so many lost 2-strike counts

* I did manage to K about 5 though

* Every bad hop=our team, every good hop=their team

* We had discussed stealing, and how we have not thrown anyone out in a long time, but I think we will keep it, if not just to keep the pitchers on their toes

* Dan may have to go back to baserunning camp, caught twice at first on a day we needed baserunners

*  Tony was back, thumb protected

* Marcie also got a hit, and everyone celebrated, it was great to see 

* No band this week which was disappointing

* The mound at St Mary's officially sucks.  There was a rebar sticking up in front of the rubber, so you had to put your foot to one side or the other, and try not to catch your spike and break your ankle.  And don't get me started on the hole.

* Cap tip to Sean for an impressive day on the mound, a big bat all day with an almost homerun, and for striking me out with a nasty dropball.

See you at Hippy Hill.

S. Paige



Tuesday, May 25, 2021

5/24/21 St Mary's

I was unable to make the game but here are two accounts on what a game it was!

Dave first: 

Went like this... we froze for about 6 innings and yelled at the wind until we realized it was a tie game in the 7th. At that point we started yelling at each other. Visiting team added two runs in top of the ninth only to crap them out in the bottom of the 9th on some sloppy d and a couple of bloops. And then... just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse... Chris P stole home and walked it off but honestly I think everyone was happy to retreat to warmth. 

Now a fine tune from Lattig:

It was the best of times, it was the windiest of times. But what is new at St Mary’s? Is this why the St Mary’s college team is called the Gaels? (spelling aside…) 

Bluster aside, it was a gorgeous day for a ballgame, and we had 17 hearty souls show up ready to take their chances at tracking balls (or frisbees as the case might have become…) as they acted like a hot dog wrapper at Candlestick. 

Sonny and Nick (home and visitors respectively) were probably the heartiest of souls, as they decided it was a good day to toe the rubber on a day where defense was certainly to be suspect. And suspect it was. Pop flies that looked headed toward an infielder landed closer to the mound. And, ultimately, it was dropped fly balls that decided the game. 

But before we got to that, both pitchers did an amazing job of pitching around the wind and trouble - stranding plenty of runners and only allowing the spare run here and there. Scoring was so sporadic, in fact, that we could never really nail down the score. Ultimately deciding we were heading into the 8th inning with the homers up 4-3. Or maybe it was 5-4? Either way, they were up one. 

With HR now on the mound, Dave promptly banged a hit. Followed quickly by Urano, putting runners at first and second with nobody out. Thinking he was clever, Lattig laid down a sneak attack bunt. It’s surprise only being equaled by its mediocrity. Nevertheless, Dave was moved to third with one out. And after a strikeout of Dan, Elon took a mighty swing that trickled about 10 feet down the third base line. Mike N sprung from behind the plate as Dave sprinted for home, passing him just in time. And by the time Mike spun to throw to first, it was too late. Tied game. 

Elon was also now holding it down on the mound, and we moved to the 9th tied. Which is when the wind really struck. First, a lazy fly ball to Sonny in center that might have caught some of his glove - but definitely caught chin and chest on its way to finding the ground. Then, with two outs, a looping line drive into left looked to keep the game tied - until it too found the chest of an outfielder. This time the borrowed Nick (who certainly didn’t mean to do it…) 

So, on to the bottom of the 9th with a two run game and Urano taking the mound. The biggest problem with that? He couldn’t also play SS… So after a couple of hits and seeing eye ground balls, we found Chris (who had a five hit day) on third as the winning run. Sensing John McGs fatigue from 9 innings behind the plate, he broke for home on the throw back to the mound, scoring easily to give homers the walk off win. 

A few other highlights I remember: 

  • Mike Lynch (as he emailed) was drilled in the leg and picked off first. Quite an eventful day. 

  • While playing RF I was telling our CF that I was playing shallow because the wind would knock anything down. And within 3 seconds Mike N had barreled one up and sent it over my head. 

  • Nick, trying to be kind, tried to return a frisbee to a father/son who were playing out in CF. The wind had other ideas and returned the frisbee toward Oakland… it was a truly remarkable site to behold… 

  • Great to see Tony back out swinging free and easy with his thumb recovering

  • Elon is off to summer camp for the year, but left on a high note with solid hitting (even if the wind didn’t want him rewarded) and pitching. See you in the fall Elon

  • The band was in fine form and continues to thrill at our exploits as much as we appreciate theirs

  • That said, would be great to get a field with an actual mound one of these days! 

Friday, May 21, 2021

5/16/21 St Mary's

After the debacle a few weeks ago with Balboa,  we decided to hedge our bets and return to the hidden promise of St. Mary's. Luckily,  it was devoid of games and the band was there awaiting our glorious return.  They had been pining for us, and were sad when they didn't get our contact info before we moved to Potrero. A joyous reunion. 

Sonny started for the homers and I for the visitors.  It quickly became apparent that with 13, then 14 players only that this was going to be a interesting game. The wind was howling so much that we deemed it the 3rd outfielder and played the game with only 2 outfielders.  It worked well. 

Greg was all-time 1st baseman for the beginning of the game,  until Sean showed up to even the teams.  What that made for was a lineup that had 6 hitters for the homers,  hard to deal with as a pitcher when you know that you have to keep facing the same hitters over and over again.

Sonny and I did a nice job of keeping it from being a laff riot, partially thanks to the dulcet tunes that our band was playing.  That band really ties the game together, I have to admit.  And they played a Jimmie Rodgers tune when I requested one.  For those of you not in the know:



Anyway, I think that a couple of runs were scored, for the visitors, it was Chris P all day.  He scored 80% of the runs for our team.... I know for my part that I came up in the inning with runners in scoring position and 2 outs at least 5 times.  And I flubbed it 3 of those times.  

Maybe 2, since one was a robbery of felony stature.  I hit a ball so square I had time to enjoy watching it fly.  Straight into left center.... where I realized suddenly that Anna was playing me at about 390 feet, and that smart play, coupled with the wind that suddenly turned the air into pea soup, the ball came down calmly and neatly into Anna's glove. Third out, again.

The wind, as mentioned before, was a contention all day.  Foul balls went very foul.  Other foul balls came back into play.  Jon McG made a great play over behind first, one of many for him in the game and there were basket catches made by Dan, Chris.  For only fielding 7 on a side it was a well-defensed game.  The see-saw battle continued, and we went into the last of the eighth down two runs.  I had bowed out and Sean had come in and shut the door.  Sonny had stayed in longer than I, but had given way to Mike N.  Meanwhile, our team had inched back to close, after I finally was able to bat a run in. In the ninth we scrambled Mike's plans for a win and go ahead, thank god.  We had been ok to not win too, but if we had tied, we might have all quit.  

The bottom of the inning proved to be a non-starter for the homers, and we walked away having snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.  

Final score: 5-4?

Highlights:

* Call me crazy but St Mary's reminds me of the peace and tranquility of the Presidio all those years ago.  Not a bad thing....

*  Great defense all around.

* Chris P and John McG seemed to have strong days at the plate.

* I hit a ground ball at the end of the of the game that took that 3rd bounce that always seems to be where the problem lies, and it bounced right up into his jaw.  I was really thankful it was jaw and not throat, but still a tense moment.  Sorry Sonny, you took a shot like a champ.

* Thanks to the catchers, Nick W in particular was very helpful while I was working out the kinks.

* I managed a handful of Ks for the day, I was all over the map, but then would suddenly get locked in and throw 3 pitches right where Nick put the glove.  Weird.

* Bob had a few nice knocks, as did Dan.

* JT and I were involved in 3 double plays.  Unfortunately all of them involved us as runners.

* The homers defense turned three double plays!

* The visitors had one double play, which is more gentlemanly.

* I love pitching at St Mary's because the mound is basically non-existent, and easy on the joints.

* Thanks to JT and Sean for making us a real game

* Coyote sighting, the old boy is still there.

* The band is sounding tight, and has new selections to choose from and they also warned us that the Parks and Rec dudes posted at St Mary's may be badge-heavy, so lets keep our profile low and calm.


Monday, May 3, 2021

5/2/21 Some Little League field






Well, the time tested method of dibs and COVID bureaucracy finally screwed us.  

We are not able to secure a permit because we are not a league, and that is the only people getting permits.  The other field was taken by a non-official league that had just started their game.  The other field near the skate park was taken by softball batting practice, leaving us to chance a move to St Mary's or play at the other LL field.  We measured out the bases, which were about 15 feet into the outfield on all sides, and the mound.  Throwing on a flat surface was nice after months of falling off the cliff at Potrero.  However, the more immediate concern was any hard hit foul ball to the left had a decent chance of damaging property and/or risking injury to bystanders.  So everyone tried real hard not to pull the ball. It mostly worked.

Sonny started for the homers and he went the distance, with a win under adverse conditions.  This was not his first CG, but it may have been his finest. Not only were we on a field 2 sizes small, we had a constant gale force wind to contend with, no joke, about 25-35 mph.  I started for the visitors, and felt good, not trying too hard, and once we realized that the wind was blowing the right direction for the knuckleball, we had some good innings.  Sean came in after I took myself out of the game on a injury in the 6th, and he took it the rest of the way and held the visitors right where they were.

The visitors put up 4 runs very early on, and then we quieted them down.  We could not score a run to save our life in the beginning, and the key word for this game was double plays.  I think the visitors made 4-5 of them.  I know I hit into at least 2.

We were getting good hits, John Mcg had a loud day with the bat, as did Urano, but we couldn't get them around.  We finally scored a run in the middle of the game, and then another.  The visitors were making it look easy, and we kept getting every bad hop and dropped ball that we could.  I will say that we did have good luck with our second efforts though, and still managed to get some outs after a oopsie.

By the 9th rolled around, we were in a 5-4 scrap, and looked like we might tie it up.  Chris L led off with a hit, I bunted him into scoring position, but Sonny doubled down his effort and we left our tying run on base.

MVP: Sonny with the complete game

Highlights:

* Chris P made a couple of amazing over the shoulder catches, and almost made a few more.  He seemed to have invented a new position Short left fielder stop.

* Elon had an amazing dig at first

* Bob made a couple of good put outs are first on tricky grounders, and Sean and I both remembered to cover 1st.

* John McG made several outs at 2nd in needed scenarios, and also slapped some boss line drives.

* The wind made anything in the air a gamble.  A ball I thought was going over 2nd base ended up falling about 5 feet behind me on the mound.

* Double plays!

* JT showed up to make things almost perfect, and did a great job of keeping the score and innings straight.

* Mitch didn't care about the wind, he can still Mitch whenever he needs to

* New guy Virgil is a dead ringer for Richie, if Richie had a gray beard.  It's amazing

* I clicked for a second in the 5th inning, and had a 1-2-3 inning with 2 Ks.

* Is that a foul ball, a double, or a homerun? was one of the themes of the day.

* We kept hitting the ball hard, but right to the wrong person

* A great game of baseball under not so great conditions.

* Get well soon Greg, Anna, Tony, anyone else nursing an injury beyond our usual bunch of injuries....


Monday, April 12, 2021

4/11/21 Camp Swampy





Well, it was a lot better than last week.  We had 23 people out to play, on a nice day, a little breezy and occasionally chilly, but a fine day for a ballgame.  Sonny was starting for the visitors, and Sean for the homers.  Both went several innings, and the game stayed very tight.  Homers scored a run in the 1st, visitors tied it up, then they went ahead, then the homers went ahead.  It was tied up in the middle innings, Nick W. took over pitching, then Chris L came in for the homers for an inning, then Satch for the last.  For the visitors, John McG took over after Sonny, then Mike N.

The score was tied 4-4 in the 9th, and we were able to get 2 outs, but the 3rd out eluded us, and with dying quails and a misplayed grounder, the visitors scored the run that they had been looking for and took the lead.  

We had had so many players that we thought about extra innings to make it more fair for at bats, but by the time the 9th came around, it was getting cold and we wanted to either win quick or lose quick.  First batter got out, but then we got a baserunner, and Greg came up.  Unfortunately, he did what our team had been doing the whole game, he hit it to Urano, who picked it up, kicked 2nd, fired it to first and game over double play.

5-4 Visitors

Highlights:

* The Return of Urano.  I think we have forgotten how much of a difference he makes, at the plate and definitely in the field.  I will say it now that Powell and Urano are never allowed to be on the same team.

* Gabe came out again for the first time in a while and had several laser line drives

* New guy Virgil was also out, made a good catch in left, and had the frustrating day at the plate that we all remember from our first foray back into baseball.  Timing takes a few at bats to come back.

* Tony played, tried to bat, but thumb is still smarting.  He was able to play defense though!

* Some of the hardest hit balls were caught, including one that Anna snagged at first that was a bullet.

* Our team was almost caught twice on the base paths at close plays at 3rd and 2nd (some might say that we were caught....)

* John McG came in for the first time, as he put it, in a real game situation e.g., a non -mop up inning.  He threw real well, working a snappy sidearm approach.  Solid first outing in a high pressure game.  Atta' boy!

* Lattig has gone from Babe Ruth to Ruth Buzzi in the last few weeks at the plate.  He'll come out of it, I am sure.

* I hit into a double play, one of three for our team.  I think they were all 4-3, with Urano at SS

* At one point the visitors had a defense on the left side that was really unfair:  Mitch at 3rd, Urano at SS, Gabe in left.  Anyone of them could throw us out from anywhere on the field.

* Matt Stone made an appearance, I guess he has come a few times recently, but I had missed him.  Good to see him out, and he made a nice catch in center, and didn't even Stoner slide!

* Powell made a couple of really nice catches at SS, a few line drives and a few over the shoulder pops

* Sean also made a nice catch behind the mound, something I don't think I can do anymore

* All in all, a great game, wonderful to see full teams, and a fun way to spend a Sunday.

4/4/21 Cop Field

 Late posting, but this game was pretty bad, we only had 12 people show up, so we played 6-6, two outfielders.  It isn't very relaxing when you don't sit down for 3 hours of play.  


The game was fun, got a lot of at bats, and we made the most of it, but not a game to repeat too often.

Monday, March 22, 2021

3/21/21 The Last Game?

It's been a great run at the mystery field in question, but the rumor is that we will have to move on and start getting permits again.  So, remember all those funds you have been stockpiling for the permit costs, right?  In any case, it was a great game if it was the final game.  

We had 17 hearty souls and a beautiful day, and I mean beautiful!  Sun shining, a little too intense some might say, a light breeze pushing the ball to right.  Sean started for the visitors and Sonny for the homers.  We jumped to a quick 4-0 lead, which surprised us more than anyone, and we held the line for the first few innings, 4-2 as we entered the middle innings.  Which was a complete mystery to everyone as to what the inning was.  We went back and forth on if it was the 5th or the 6th for a while, all I will say is that I had 3 at bats at that point, which felt like a lot for that much game.  But hey, who doesn't love more baseball?

The homers mounted a comeback and tied up the game, on the heads-up play of Chris Powell, who sprinted to first on a dropped swinging strike out. Greg couldn't get the throw off in time, and the 3rd out turned into another opportunity.  It had a been a real journey that inning to get 3 outs, and when the ball skipped at first, the last remnants of hope left Sean's body and he collapsed on the infield like a punch drunk fighter who had finally lost his legs.

Sean came out after 6 and I came in to throw 2 innings.  I never felt comfortable, but didn't serve too many up, other than the ones I tried to serve up, I really wanted to see someone put one over the fence.  Sonny bowed out to Mike N and John Mcg mopped up the 9th. The homer's comeback was short lived, and we sparked a big rally on Mike N., putting up 6 runs in one inning.  

Unfortunately, in the midst of our hitting, Tony took a pitch to the thumb and it got squashed between ball and bat handle.  It was an impact wound, and bleeding pretty good, but no joint damage.  Dr. Greg got out his first aid kit and patched him up quickly, but Tony was done for the game.  We were down to 7 players, and borrowing two outfielders, which conveniently seemed to be Chris P and Mitch a lot of the time.

We started to pile on the runs, and by the 9th inning, the score was 13-6.  Greg felt he had a decent chance of blowing this lead, and true to his word, the rally of the 9th was a great one, though the deficit proved to be a little too big and the final score was a impressive 13-11 win for the visitors.

Highlights:

* No one hit a homerun at the field, but Chris P. came close twice, one hopping the fence, he ended the day with 2 triples!

* We had a number of beautiful defensive plays that resulted in no outs.  Great throws to first that the runner just beat out, and including a double play attempt, where both runners were safe.  It was clean, just not in time.

* Gaspar with the aluminum is beating the Gaspar shift, and pulling the ball now.

* Lattig made a awesome stretch at first to get a third out and also great play on a ground ball to the hole, and got off a perfect throw to Sean, who remembered to cover....

* I had to catch a ball in left field for the first time, and I literally didn't have to move which was the worst part.  I almost started moving just because it didn't seem real that I would just wait to catch it.

* There were numerous pop flies lost at the last second in the sun

* Anna had two hits and RBIs to to left field after a long drought

* We almost had a nice play at home

* Baserunning continues to be our weakness, I think there were two innings ended due to people not knowing how many outs there were

* For the first time in a long while, I was 5-5, with 3 singles, and two doubles (though the 2nd double I never made it to 2nd base, due to my broken down running, does that count?).  My hits spanned the spectrum of what can be a hit: the all-arms looping line drive over third, the hot ground ball between SS and 3rd, the "hit it high" in the wind and sun, and it falls untouched, the opposite field power alley (probably due to being behind the pitch and swinging a 50oz bat).  It felt great, not sure what has changed, but I will take it.

* One thing I will not miss at the field is that travesty of a mound.  The landing hole is bad enough, but the steepness of the mound makes the follow through a balancing act.  Give me St Mary's any day of the week.

* The sun was brutal, but this time for left and center field

* Mitch, Powell, Sean, Nate, just some of the people who made great defensive plays on a tough day.  Special thanks to Mitch and Powell who made them while covering defense for us, crushing the dreams of their won teammates.

* There were plenty of hits to go around: Sean, Powell and Elan all had triples, Mitch, Anna, Gaspar, Greg, Dan, all were racking

* Thanks to Greg, John McG, Mike N, Nick W. for catching

* Remember to call those pop ups.

S. Paige









Saturday, March 13, 2021

3/7/21 Baseball

 Beautiful day for a baseball game. The Sun was out, the wind wasn't blowing too bad, and we had 25 people out. 

Phelps out for the 1st time in quite a while started for the visitors and I started for the home team. Pretty close for the 1st part of the game visitors managed to score a run an inning or so, and we managed to not. 

Fact we couldn't seem to get a base runner past 2nd base. But still beautiful day and we were still playing Baseball.

 In the very 1st inning we managed to turn A 6-4-3 double play which was amazing and also got us out of a jam. I bellowed like a moose on the mound with the excitement and pumped my fist like Mad bum getting all worked up. Double plays seem to be both our curse and our saviour for the rest of the game. In fact I think we had 2 more double plays, both of them on line drives where we doubled up a runner. We also had about 3 opportunities to turn regular double plays and we managed to muff every single one  of those opportunities. We didn't even get one out. 

Visitors on the other hand were turning plays and making spectacular outs at every turn. We slowly realised that we were going to get hammered in this game. Not just because of the stellar defense but the offense. I think we need to examine closer the lineups before we start. There's no reason that Lattig, Mitch, Chris p, Phelps, Rich, Ana, Mike N, Dan, and Elan should ever be on the same team.

 I ended up throwing 5 and I didn't pitch too bad. I think I had one strikeout the very 1st batter of the game. But it felt good and I wasn't in a lot of pain so chalk that up as a win. Sean came in to relieve me and looked much more on point. However our defensive woes continued and the runs piled up. At one point we thought it was about 14 to 1, turns out it was only 9.

 To add insult to injury, Liam came in to fireball us to death and work on making a bunch of middle aged people look even sadder than they are. 

 I left in about the 8th inning, to head home and see the end of little Satch's 1st baseball practice. From what I understand, our team made a valiant comeback ,at least by our standards, and made a show of it in the last inning  scoring some runs the final score being 9 to 6.

Highlights

 * it was a very fun game even if it wasn't a pretty game.

 * Bob after muffing yet another ground bawl and injuring himself, looked at me on the mountain side just shoot me. To which I responded you think I'm gonna waste a bullet?

* Hard hit line drives all day from the visitors.  Nick w. Made an snagging snag of one of them in a tight spot

* Hr made a dynamic throw from the outfield to hold a runner. 

 * John McG had a real rope, that turned into a round tripper!

* I hit Anna with a slow curve which I felt bad about,  though Greg said I didn't hit her as much as I thought I did

* The visitors hammered the gaps

* I struck out on an outside fastball that I shouldn't have swung at

* Bob was hurting from his knee and asked for a runner,  Nick W. Who has two bum ankles went in for him.  That's the MBC in a nutshell. 

* Mike made a great grab at third to start a double play.  Unfortunately that didn't work out. 

* Anna made a fantastic scoop at first

*We realized that we had no margin for error,  the visitors also had team speed "Team speed for crissakes..... quoth Earl Weaver "on their side. 

* I think Dan put one on the warning track in left,  we'll get there some day. 

* A very lopsided affair but still a great way to spend a Sunday

S. Paige 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

2/21/21 The Old game

 What a day. what a game.  

There is a reason that we live in California, and a reason we don't live in well, pretty much everywhere else in the US right now.  But it was 70 degrees and beautiful.  I brought lil' Josh Gibson out with me, and he was telling me on the ride in that he was not sure about baseball and the playing of.  He was willing to give it another try, but he wasn't sure if he could continue to come in with me.  As of this writing, he is at least still willing to join me, though it may be tenuous.

17 brave souls.  The sun baking.  The field overrun with desperate city dwellers just trying to not look at their wall paper for another minute.  And a baseball game.

Sean started for the visitors and Nick W for the homers.  Both were throwing raw, and Nick got the short end of the stick.  We took a early lead, with some timely hitting from the team, and were sitting on a healthy lead finishing the first part of the game.  Sean was dealing, but the homers had a stacked lineup, including Rich who--along with his two munchkins-- looked like he was trying to hit everything over a fence, and Lattig who apparently bought a practice batting tee on whim, and in about 4 days has upped his batting average by 300 points. 

So we bring in Liam, who had been neglecting his team so he could work on his drive line or something, and he threw well.  Then I think Mike N came in and struck out the side.  I know Chris P pitched for a long time for the homers, and was lights out until he wasn't and we took what we thought was a insurmountable lead, but then HR came in for homers, and Mike stayed with it, and Lil Gibson and I had to get home.  

The story as I hear it is that the visitors took the lead in the 9th, but the homers took back the runs plus, and sealed the deal with none other than Chris P taking home on a ball in the dirt to win the game.  Hero. 

Highlights:

* The day.

* The players.

* The camraderie

* There were a lot of strikeouts in this game, a cap tip to the pitchers, as well as the jumpy hitters

* Mike L killed it all day

* Rich hit a very hard ball down the line, and I was grateful to get it 2 bounces in

* I managed a weak groundball up the middle, a hit, a strikeout, and a 2 rbi hooker that Greg got a piece of at 3rd before it rolled into no-man's land

* Gaspar hit a classic gasparian hit

* Chris P struck me out o a high inside pitch, I can't lay off and I can't hit it.

* I think the final was 13-12.  Amazing since I think the score was 8-2 at one point.

* John McG covered for his kid and played solid baseball

* Aiden was the unsung hero--even though he had some tough at bats-- he got us important outs, and managed to get on base

* And in the NO SHIT, I SWEAR HE SAID THIS: Lil Josh G. is mildly disgusted with the blatant giving of bases that is afforded the little kids at the game when they get their swings in the game, and would appreciate it if we--as a team--make our "bobbles" much more believable or just play it straight.  He may be ready to take on an official MBC place, leapfrogging his bookworm brother.... 

Here's a real fine piece of scribbling from a man named Donald Hall 

The old game waits under the white,

Deeper than frozen grass.

Down at the frost line it waits

To return when the birds return.

It starts to wake in the South,

Where it’s never quite stopped.

Where winter is a doze of hibernation,

The game wakes gradually,

Fathering vigor into itself.

 

As the days lengthen in late February

And grow warmer, old muscles grow limber.

Young arms grow strong and wild,

Clogged vein systems, in veteran oak and left fielders both,

Unstop themselves,

Putting forth leaves and line drives in Florida’s March.

Migrating North with the swallows,

Baseball and the grasses’ first green,

Enter Cleveland , Kansas City, Boston.”


Monday, February 8, 2021

2/7/21 It's A Ballgame!

 Boy, has it been a while, or has it been a while?

It was sure nice to see everyone, and the people came out of the woodwork.  I was especially pleased to see, given that we had 25 players, that everyone maintained distance and masked up the entire time.  Truly great to have such responsible and respectful people.

Sean started for the homers, and Satch for the visitors.  It was plain from the beginning, that we were all a little rusty.  Sean was pitching his heart out, but the hits were dropping in, and the possible outs were just dropping.  I have not seen a consistent defensive drubbing like that in a while.  The visitors jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the early frames.  I couldn't get a curveball in for a strike, and I apologize to Greg for the bruises that he probably has from blocking the attempts.  The fastball sort of worked, and the change up was decent, so I stuck with those.  The knuckle was a disaster.  However, thanks to the layoff, people's timing was also rusty, and I struck out 3 in 3 innings of work, and my defense held down the fort, some due to great placement.

I bowed out on a high note, and gave the ball to Liam, who is in his high school prime, and mowing down batters with a live arm.  He looked great, though it may have been unfair to unleash that on a bunch of people who have not played in 3 months.  His curve was nasty, as was the heater.

Sean stuck with it longer, and for his pain had to witness a heartbreaker of a play at home.  James fired a rocket from center field to nab a force out at home, it was on target, and Mike N...well, the ball clanged off the catcher mitt, and the run scored.  Sean collapsed in the infield.  I felt his pain.

After Liam, Sonny came in for 2, and John McG for the close.  Mitch, HR,  and Mike all threw for the homers.  The agreed upon score at the 9th was 8-5, though none of us knew if it was actually that.  The last stand of the home team was a 1-2-3 inning, with little fanfare.  But the thrill of actual baseball, with good friends was well worth the wait. 

Highlights

* It was great to see everyone!

* Chris Powell made a tricky pop up play, and also stopped a ground ball to hold the runner

* The sun continues to be a real hinderance, but man was it enjoyable to be in

* I was playing Lattig short in right field, and managed to track down a long fly ball.  I didn't think I had a chance at the crack of the bat

* Marcie made a good play in right, also had a hit, and may have also scored.

* Don in center, and Powell combined to nail Mike at 2nd who was stretching a hit.  The throw and tag were a thing of beauty

* Dan had the long hit of the day, which got past the right fielder, for a triple.

* I struck out Anna, which may have been the first time I have managed to do so.  It was a tense 2-out at bat.

* James had a tough day at the plate, but in his defense, he is up to his eyes in diapers and feeding schedules, and figuring out how to make a 3 month old happy (hint: you can't).

* There were a couple of great foul out catches made

* Ana made a great play on a tricky throw at 1st

* Remember: When there are runners on 1st and 2nd, and there is a sharp comebacker to the mound, go to 3rd for the first out.  You will be happy to get the lead runner, and you are throwing on level terrain, rather than throwing over the mound to 2nd which seems to always ends in tragedy.

Stay healthy, stay 6 feet away, and let's keep the momentum going!

S. Paige