Monday, June 10, 2024

6/9/24 GGP

Well, it was a game.  From the out, I could tell that it was going to be a rough one.  We had no one playing a position that they felt really comfortable with, besides JT at 1st and Don behind the dish.

I had brought out the 2 boys, and they did their best, but it is hard to be 10, 12 year old competing with grown ups.  They always want me to check in with the opposing pitcher to make sure that they don't get gassed at the plate.  Sean did a great job of giving them pitches to hit, and he also did a great job of not letting any of the rest of us get hits.  I think we had one runner get to 3rd the whole game.  I know for myself I hit into 2, yes 2, double plays to end innings.  Personal best!

I pitched for the visitors, felt ok, managed to pitch to my defense for the most part.  We did not catch an infield pop fly the entire game.  Kenball made several great plays in left field, he was the only outfielder to catch a ball for us.  

The home team started scoring runs and just kept it up.  The score was a soft 8-0 by the time we tried to even the teams, and even with a Mitch for Bob/JT trade didn't do anything to help us.  We finished by the 7th inning, as we are running out of steam and players.

Highlights

* Thanks to everyone who came out

* I counted busted knees, busted shoulders, busted hips, and bad ankles playing out there

* The foggy overcast was a nice change from triple digits

* Don did a great job blocking the ball, which I was throwing consistently in the dirt.

* JT smothered a ball at first, and I had to hustle to cover 1st after it became apparent he was not going to be getting up off the ground.  We got the out!

* Ken's running catch in left field was amazing

* The homers agreed to play with 2 outfielders to give us a chance, it did not make a difference.

* Tim went up for a fastball that was purposefully thrown way above his hands, and smashed it for a hit

* New guy also battled hard and got himself a hit

* New guy Darius got a nice hit


Monday, May 20, 2024

5/19/24 GGP

 Sorry, I missed another game that should have been written up.  It was a close one at least.

This Sunday was an amazing game, as usual, our B2B fears were unrealized, you would never have known there was anything going on except for the occasional drunk guy in a zebra costume.  We had 20 players out, sun shining, teams evenly split.  

Sean and the homers vs. Mitch and the visitors to start.  Sean ended up going the distance, which was awesome.  Mitch took the starter role and threw five great innings of work.  He kept them off balance and most of his defense was working.  I unfortunately, clanged a fly ball off the thumb of my glove in left to keep a inning going, and then Sean hit a homerun.  3 runs scored. 

That sucked. 

Sean would add a triple his next at bat, and was all in on the cycle.

Round about the 4th inning, we finally got things going, helped by Anna, who was killing the ball to the tune of a couple of hits, runs scored, and she made some dynamic plays at 1st!  We entered the 5th, tied at 5's. 5-5-5.

We went up in the 6th inning, with Mitch still the pitcher of record, and never looked back.  Satch came in for the long save and was efficient to the end.  I think I ended up with about 55 pitches over 4 innings, not too shabby.  I was mixing up the fast and the slow, and even got some suckers to swing at the knuckleball.

Sean stayed in, and took the bruises.

We entered the 9th frame up 10-7, mindful that no lead is safe in the MBC, but the homers went down 1-2-3, and the game was somewhat anti-climatically over.

Final: 10-7, visitors.

Highlights:

* Sean killed it all day, but just not enough

* Thanks to Santos and Ernesto for coming late to give us an extra player each

* Anna, sweet hits, sweet scoops

* Bob had a double, that could have been a triple.  Still was fucking great

* John Carey also had a big day with the bat, and another triple

* Mike N, made a Brooks Robinson-ian play at 3rd, back hand and a perfect throw, it was awesome

* I had 3 singles, and 3RBIs

* There was a lot of hustle out there!

* I could not throw anywhere but the inside part of the plate, luckily I didn't hit anyone

* New guy Matt made a great catch in left

* New guy Jesse looks like a legitimate threat, and has a cannon for an arm

* Kenball was tough all day

* I stopped Sean's march towards the cycle at least.

* John McG was a wall behind the dish

* Everyone seemed to be ripping the ball

* My first AB, John got on 1st and I told Bob that I was going to just wait for him to get to 3rd before I did anything.  Pass ball-2nd, pass ball-3rd, fly ball to center, first run scored. Nice.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

MBC Roving Correspondent Catches up with the Ramblers

Bobstalwart player and team dadrecently played with the NY Ramblers, the offshoot of the MBC started several years ago in Brooklyn.  Here's his thoughts:

It’s been an interesting ride that spans over three decades and I had no idea in my imagination that it would be like this.  I have always loved baseball and I can’t tell you why.  It goes back to days in the backyard with my dad and my older sister playing with a  bat and ball.  She conked me in the head one time with a bat, but that was just part of the game.  So, how did I get from sororal abuse and head trauma in the 1960’s to Brooklyn on April 21, 2024?  Glad you asked….

In some ways, my journey to playing with the Ramblers starts in a coherent story back in June 2001.  One pleasant Sunday afternoon in June 2001, I had taken my children, John and Helen, to Julius Kahn Playground in the Presidio of San Francisco for an outing.  We wandered down to what we called the Hidden Diamond just North of the playground and there was a baseball game in progress. 

I asked one of the players (I think it was Mike Gaspar) what was going on and he said “It’s a pickup game”.  

I asked, “ Can I play?” 


He said, “ Sure, just come out next Sunday.”


Next Sunday arrived and as fate would have it, my wife and children had other things to do, so I was left with the opportunity to go play ball.

I found my gear and started to put it on, filled with anxiety.  What if I’m bad at this? I don’t want to embarrass myself.  I’m 42 years old and haven’t played for nearly 10 years.  Somehow, I got over those feelings and made my way to the game.  

I don’t remember a lot about that first game with the Mission Baseball Club, but the experience was pretty good and it was the beginning of one of the best parts of my life in San Francisco.  Here, I need to say, I just feel so lucky to be playing baseball with a good bunch of guys.  Never imagined that that would happen.


Since then, every Sunday that I’ve been in town, I’ve played with my brothers (and more recently, some sisters) of the Mission Baseball Club.  They are my baseball family.  From the beginning, I brought my son, John with me from the time he was 4 years old with me and he grew up with them.  He originally just came along and was part of the mix.  We had a conversation early on about certain words and language that one could use on a baseball field and how that was the only place those words were allowed.  I think he understood. 


He started to play in the field when he was about 10 years old and has played in increasingly more meaningful roles ever since.  Should probably insert video here when he’s pitching and makes me hit a weak ground-out.


One of the Mission Baseball regulars was a guy named Dave Johnson.  Red-headed, red bearded guy, a Mission stalwart.  I still have a pair of cleats with a gouge in them where he spiked me when I was playing first base.  One Sunday, he tells me he’s moving to New York.  I asked him why.  He says it’s about a girl.  After a short discussion, I say, “Well you have to go.”  And that’s how we get the Ramblers!


As I understand the story – and I’m open to correction – Dave was pretty miserable in New York without regular Sunday baseball.  At some point, the girl tells him to do something about it and he starts the Ramblers – pretty cool.


This brings us back to why I wanted to play with the Ramblers. 


My son John, after playing ball in high school and college, eventually ended up working in NY and connected with the Ramblers.  He’s played with them for a couple years now, and as he’s now moving on to grad school at Cornell, I decided that I needed to go play with them while he was still in New York City. We made all the arrangements for a family trip to New York.  My daughter Helen, joined us from Chicago.  John and I made the trip into Brooklyn and met up with the Ramblers on Sunday, April 21st. 


Here is a grainy video of me getting the business from my son a few years ago, resulting in a weak groundout:





I’m not going to go deep into the details of the play of the game.  Suffice it to say that I did not cover myself in glory.  I grounded out a few times and struck out once.  Ed. note: Bob informed me that he did get hit by a pitch, which in MBC parlance means that the game was “official”.  

My main contribution to the game was a failure to even come close to catching a foul pop at first with the bases loaded.  A couple of pitches later – grand slam.  Nice rip over the left field fence.

A few comments on the differences between the San Francisco game and the NY game:

  • San Francisco has better fields. There is a photo below of the Prospect park fields where the games occur, there is one nice Parade ground field, but it still is pretty bumpy.  There is a snack bar though

  • The Ramblers actually create a lineup, divide players via a coaches draft and keep a scorebook

  • The Ramblers appear to be closer to each other off the field. MBC has a fairly open door policy when it comes to recruitment, or should I say, open park, and so we develop players that we otherwise would have no interaction with, was it not for the game and happenstance.

  • The Ramblers play on a field with fences

  • As the stereotypes would have it, the San Francisco game is less intense on the surface.  I think we play as hard, we just don’t let it show so much




In conclusion, there’s little that I can say other than that I feel so lucky to be able to play baseball with such good people – whether at Prospect Park or the diamonds in San Francisco.


The field to the far right is the best of the bunch, but that is not saying much.









4/28/24 GGP

They say that SF weather is terrible.  Well, They were not out on Sunday, because it was damn near perfect.  We had 17 for a little while, borrowing a kid from the area who played and who Bob rung up on a questionable 3rd strike.  He was old enough to take it.

I was late to the game, having forgotten my bag in the garage, and the traffic sucked too, so by the time I got there, it was deep into the 3rd inning.  Nick W was pitching for the visitors and Sean for the homers.  Sean's back was covered in sweat by then, giving an indication of how sunny it was.  They both pitched well, and the game was close until we had the inning where we gave them a bunch of runs, and we never were able to crawl back.  It remained 4-2 for most of the game, but we did eke out another run to get closer, but by then, Aiden had come in with his 18-yo throwing prowess and everyone was buffaloed. 

Except me, I hit a triple to right, that would have been a single except for the laziness of Dan.  Thanks Dan!  But my team left me stranded at 3rd, isn't that always the way.

I pitched after Nick and did fine, knuckleball was working.  Chris P came in after me, and also did fine, but we just could not score that needed run.

Final- 4-3, homers

Highlights

* Anna was hitting the ball hard all day

* Bob and JT were like Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente out in the outfield all day, running down outs and snaring catches in the sun

* John McG caught the whole game, like the badass that he is

* Rick K was out again, I love this new groundswell of attendance

* Aiden pitched very well, continuing his domination of a bunch of old people....

* There seems to be an unspoken agreement lately that batters are not running out the play at 1st.  Sometime to our disadvantage

* Long lost James came out, replete with his 1886 baseball bat, which he left on his shoulder while facing Aiden....good to see you James!

* I got Tony on a first ball Knuckle, that should have been destroyed.  Such is the spell of the drunken butterfly

* Sean is developing his skills at SS and 3rd, a new avenue for lefties?

* The "triple" I hit to right would have cleared the building in SQ, if you don't believe me, I mapped it...



Monday, April 22, 2024

4/7/24 and 4/21/24 GGP

 I missed writing up a game at cop field a few weeks ago, not too much to write home about.  The team I was on got shellacked as usual, something like 13-2 final score.  Lil' Satch came out with me, and was responsible for the first RBI we got, that was nice.

Yesterday's game on the other hand, was a really enjoyable tight well played game.  We had 21 at our zenith and a pretty good crowd of people enjoying the sun in the park, or drinking after their olde tyme baseball game.  The weather was amazing, probably 72 degrees, sunny and bright.

Sonny started for the homers and pitched well, mixing in a devastating curveball with some funky off speed stuff. Nick W was the starter for the visitors and also pitched well.  Shout out to Mike N for catching the whole game.  We had no score through the first 3 frames, a testament to the great pitching.  Aiden finally got us on the board, coming into score on a fielders choice, and with Nick still technically the pitcher of record, I think he gets the win.  We piled on a few more, with the score being 4-0 by the time that I came in.  

We had decided on a 3-3-3 format for pitching, and I was lucky Pierre in the middle.  The first inning I did fine, managing a touch comebacker for the 3rd out.  The 2nd inning, the homers suddenly were seeing everything, and I gave up almost back to back triples, which was a new thing.  They scored 2 and the game was at 5-3 by the time I gave up the pill in the bottom of the 7th.  Aiden came in and shut the door, recording 7Ks in 3 innings, nice work kid!

HR and Mitch pitched for the homers after Sonny, and both did well, but the damage had been done early.

Final 5-3

Highlights

* Greg was back, though not playing, good to see him moving

* The Original Satchel Paige also made a appearance, just moments after Greg and I had talked about him.  Weird.

* Sonny's buddy was a good new addition with the glove and the bat

* Aiden pitched like a beast and played great SS

* Lots of close plays at 1st, kudos to Rick, Nick, Adam for the plays

* HR hit two singles to center that were exactly the same

* I stole home on a passed ball, and even slid into home.  It's been a minute since that happened.

* Adam avoided death at 1st on a really hard hit ball from Aiden

* Father vs. Son: John McG said Not today Death!  hitting a infield single off of Aiden, showing off the speed and beating out the throw, take that youngster!

* My hardest hit ball was caught in center

* Mike Lattig and Elon back after a long spell

See you soon!

S. Paige

Monday, April 1, 2024

3/31/24 GGP

Happy Zombie Jesus Day everyone!  I sent out an email querying if there was enough interest in a game, since I don't know how many people would be stuck at Easter egg hunts, or ham luncheons.  Turns out, enough sinners out there to mostly fill a baseball field.  In hindsight, maybe I should have stayed home.

I started for the homers, and from the jump I remarked that the opposite team did not have any holes in their lineup.  I was poo pooed once again, but this time, I think I was on pretty solid ground:

Mitch, Adam, Mike N, Tony, HR, Sean, Arson, and Dave.  Not much in the way of weakness there, in fact, this is the kind of lineup that would give the SQ guys a run for their money.  But I digress, I don't mean to disparage my own team, but it was a little lopsided.  The best out of nowhere player of the game was Rick Kvoriak, who appeared as though it hadn't been 9 years, and was right back into it.

We struck first in the first with a sac fly for the first run, and that was about all we did for the day.  The visitors came back and added a run to go ahead, and they never looked back.  I felt like I was throwing alright, and I had a few low pitch innings in the beginning of the game.  Then came the 4th, and I think it might have taken 40 minutes to get 3 outs.  I don't know how many times the lineup batted, but it was a lot.  Our defense crumbled, the visitors had about 7 dinks just beyond the grasp of the players, and then someone would hammer the fuck out of the ball and we would start over.  We did not have an out the first time through the lineup that inning. Ouch.

A cap tip to Arson, who after 2 at bats hitting the ball higher than anyone ever has, he leveled it a little and took me to deep deep center.  The bases were loaded at the time, so a grand salami for the kid.  The distance combined with his young legs, he could have cartwheeled into home and still made it easily.  By my reckoning, this is about accurate.


So that happened, and then a few innings later he did it again, with the bases loaded again.  He was stopped from having another grand slam by the pace of the runners in front of him, who were going station to station by that point.  

We had the bases loaded at one point, and we hit into a 5-2-3 double play.  So that was our strategy.

We only played 7 innings, I stayed in to eat the whole thing, which seemed like the right thing to do.  Sean left early, HR and Mike came in to get their innings, we fared no better, and the game was mercifully over at a soft 10-1.

Highlights:

* Arson was deadly with the bat, but also behind the dish, catching a great game.

* Thank you to everyone that made it out to make it a game

* Thanks to HR and his mob of fans, for extolling his game record, and highlights throughout.  Always great when I can hear of my failings in real time.  Oh, and the baby is cute too.

* We did manage a force out at home to save a run.

* The visitors were so fat in talent they had Mitch playing right field, and he managed to catch one of the few hits I got, which was a dying quail to right that no one else would have been able to get....

* While on the topic, we had several players on our team that refused to play right because... it wasn't exciting enough, I guess...which when we are trading defenses makes it a lot harder to do.  Remember, sometimes we all have to give a little, for the good of the game.

* Rick shook off the rust to play first base, and stopped several balls with every part of his body except his glove hand.

* Chris Powell rage hit a ball deep, trying to hit a 9 run homer

* The field was in really good shape, so that is something

* I hit Dave twice, nothing personal

* Gaspar and Bob did great behind the dish for us.

* Mitch had an amazing bunt that started the never ending 4th inning

* I had to warn Tony that he was getting one in the back if the runner tried to steal with the score as lopsided as it was.  He said he had already warned his team about that, but they were not having it.  Luckily I didn't have to do it.



Monday, March 18, 2024

3/17/24 GGP

What a day for a ballgame, the weather was amazing, sunny, not too much wind, and we had 17 players showed up.  The tones of a rock and roll show were present through the game, not sure what it was, but it was there.

The teams were askew from the beginning, but everyone sticks to the story of all the times that the teams are uneven and then the game goes the other way.  Well, this wasn't the case in this game.  Our team never scored a run, and we got to 3rd base twice, I think.  

Nick W was pitching a gem to start and Mitch came in and dominated us a little more.  Sonny was starting for us and he pitched well, but the home team had so many singles they could not be stopped.  Our defense was not helping us much either, we clanged and frisbeed our share as well.

I will focus on the positives, we had some great catches in the outfield when we needed them.  Nick caught several very high pop flies in left field, and the same with Bob in center.  Nick Smith, Bob and JT in the outfield in the 7th inning sets the MBC record for the oldest outfield staffed. So that is something.

I came in after Sonny, and felt good, the fastball was cooking at times.  The curveball finally went where I wanted it to go, which hasn't happened in months.  We slowed the scoring a bit, but the homers still eked out a few more from us.

Final Score- 8-0, home team.

Highlights

* Thanks for making it out everyone

* Ana had one our few hits, and was the one of the two players that made it to 3rd.

* Don played SS and made it look easy

* Greg did a great job blocking the ball

* Powell and Mitch together again, much to our destruction.

* Mental note to Alejandro, don't be stealing bases with a 6 run lead

* I had 3 hits, 2 singles and a double, did not score.

* Gaspar with the clean hit to the gap

* Nick W had an epic at bat, likely 12 foul balls, maybe 15-16 total pitches.

* I made the plays at 3rd, had trouble with the throws


Monday, February 12, 2024

2/11/24 GGP

Why do we deal with the high taxes, the sometimes confusing and overburdensome laws, the overpopulation? Because on February 11th, a month and a 1/2 before the beginning of Spring we can play a baseball game in Golden Gate Park where not only was the sun shining, it was actually warm.

We had 22 players come out for the game before the game and ours proved to be very much like the Super Bowl®. Sean started for the homers and Satch started for the visitors. I had made the request of my teammates beforehand that I not be allowed to pitch more than 4 innings and I mostly held to that, though I did request a fifth inning because I had not planned on the sun being so warm that I actually felt good pitching. 

Sean looked good as well, the sweat started early on him and looking like the Batman logo across his back. Sean lasted a few innings more than I and then Mitch came in after him.  I bowed out after 5 innings and gave the ball over to Dave, And then Chris Powell and then John McGrath for the close. 

We had a couple of new players some from the Mayan organization, Ethan who came with Connor, and one a recruit from Sonny, Javier, who quickly showed us that he knows how to play The Game.  Sure was nice to have an abundance of players, let's hope that continues.

The game was a real back-and-forth battle, we were tied at 2 then we went up to 4, then we went up to 6, then my last inning I gave up a run and some hits/errors and then the homers scored 2 on an unfortunate 2-out clank in right field. We were tied at 6 for a while, and coming down the home stretch bottom of the ninth, 7-7 ball game the homers were able to pull out a victory, thanks to 2 wild pitches and a ground ball from Sean to me at 2nd.  I heaved it to home with all that I had, but not enough, and the homers won, 8-7.

Highlights

* Full ranks, great playing

* Marcie came out with her little gum drop, then left him in the stands, and came in to knock a hard single up the middle, notching the MBC's first post-natal hit statistic (PNH).  I am sure Bill James will include that in the next SABR update.

* Carlos and Reumaldo both had a couple of amazing plays in left field

* John McGrath did a great job with the bat and behind the dish

* The grass makes the hardest ground ball a slow roller

* Some bang-bang plays at 1st!

* At one point, the average height of our outfielders was 5'3

* Don, Javier, Sean, Dave, Alejandro, Powell, McG, all put the muscle on the ball

* Mitch hit a ball one-handed for a single that he had no business even touching

* My last at-bat I finally got into one, loud grunt and all, and I think this is about where it landed.  The shameful part is that I only got a single.  The really shameful part is that I probably have had longer singles....



Monday, November 27, 2023

11/26/23- GGP


I haven't been out in a while, long enough that when I mentioned how nice it was to have 20+ players, Greg told me that the numbers have been good for a while.  Well, whatever gets it done.  We ended up with 25 when it was all said and done, including a new guy named Patrick who came in from the cold, and it was discovered that he was on Sean's fabled Evergreen 0-32 team!  Small world.

It was an absolutely beautiful day, the kind of winter day that we are happy that we live in Northern California.  The teams were divvied up and I saw a small problem with the hitters on the home team.  There were too many of them! Powell, Adam, Phelps, Mitch, Bob, Mike N, Lynch, the kid, it went on.  Not that our team was full of nothing, but that was an extended Murderer's Row. However, some one noted that every time we say one team is over loaded, they end up losing.  

Not this time.

Nick W started for the homers, and was pitching well, though we did hit some square balls, they seemed to be right at some one. No matter, lots of game left, right?  Well, the game kept on going that way, and then they switched to Mike N, and we fared little better, though we did score a run.  Then Sonny came in, and handed us a three inning boot in teeth to finish the game.  

I started for the visitors, and felt good, but could not get my curveball to work to save my life.  My back was also paining me, as a result of pulling a stump earlier that day, so I tried my best but was not full bars.  As a team, we all made our share of miscalculations, dropped balls, and misthrows, and the innings stretched on forever.  I could get 2 strikes on every batter but never the 3rd.  The homers fouled off so many pitches, it was a constant chase into the stands, and one more pitch from the reserves.  

As a result of all this, the score became *ahem* a bit embarrassing.  

I left after 5, and Dave came in to clean up the mess.  Sean came after him, and then John Carey, and then Greg.  Our defense improved slightly, but the damage was done.  I left rather than play an extra inning, so I do not know what the final outcome was, but the end of the game I saw was 13-2, homers.  

Ouch.

Highlights

* The homers won this game, they made the plays when they needed to, and were all tough in the box.

* There were a yuge number of gorks and dinks as well.

* I aaaaaaaaalmost had Phelps on a strike 3, but he got one centimeter of bat on it and laid a perfect swinging bunt

* We visitors could not make the direct out to save our lives, but we made several outs on secondary plays, that is how you stay in the game!

* Sonny threw me a nasty knuckleball that was called strike 3.  I will leave it at that.

* We had a Carey vs. Carey match up, but no plunking.  The younger generation is getting soft.

* Speaking of, John Carey is playing with the Brooklyn Ramblers, or will be when their field thaws, ha ha ha.

* Phelps made a diving catch in center 

* I think in general, our SS's all played way too deep.

* Conor could not buy a lucky chance the whole game

* Nick got me right in the arm, on a pitch I could not get out of the way.  After then walking me, I took my base, rather than get hit again

* JT got a hit, but was thrown out trying for 2, which is kind of the best case scenario for everyone.  I recognized the look in his eyes about halfway to 2nd when he realized the ball was passing him by.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 4, 2023

10/29/23 GGP

 Well, if you weren't there, you can't know how truly nice of a day it was.  The sun was shining, the breeze just enough to tickle the fancy of a late autumn, and crap, we have 10 players again....even the band was one guy, waiting on a miracle.  

Victory often comes to the bold however, and rather than curse our darkness, we decided on a strong recruitment campaign.  There were two guys in the outfield hitting balls into a practice net who inquired if we were playing a game, and they were all in when approached.  Two other guys were leftover from a game that had happened earlier that day and they were in.  A trickle of latecomers from the MBC, and all of a sudden we had 18 players!  Think what we could do if some of the people that we actually rely on made it out!

Just as our fortunes improved, so did the band's numbers, and they were a full tilt delight for the attendees out on that beautiful day.  We remarked that for the random tourist passing through the park, we must have been a real crowd pleaser.  Actual baseball, played on the field, tin pan alley jazz music from the stands, tying it all together in the background.  

The game was decent, Sean was on point, and I was well rested, so we had ourselves a good duel.  Since Sean and Powell were on the same team, we took both the new guys from the hitting net, which proved a good balance.  They could mash, and they could run.  Both things that the MBC has diminished in of late.

The score stayed close, though the visitors threated a few more times than we did.  My curve ball was not working too well, so I stuck with the fastball and the changeup, which were effective enough.  

Defensively we looked pretty good too, it is always nice to have the game not be a shit show.

Sean last most of the game, then came out for Mike N and Powell.  I elected to stay in, as I am wont to do, apologies to my team for my selfish ways.  We threatened in the 9th, but ultimately came up short, and the visitors took it, 6-3.

Highlights

* Marcy came out with the lil'un, she looked tired, but happy, great to see the family!

* Jonathan, who is fast departing from new guy status made a great running catch in left to end a threatening inning and a much needed play at 2nd base.  

* I hit into a double play to squash a rally.  

* A fantastic play at home to get a runner that I didn't think we had a chance at.

* What it came down to in the end was that the visitors were better at scoring chances than we were.  

* A well-positioned bunt from one of the new guy leaguers was a great bit of situational hitting.

* The new guys were all great, hope they come back!

* I did have 3 hits, and a RBI.  And I managed to leg out a single that should have been an easy hit but Powell is gonna Powell.

* I had trouble with location with my challenge fast ball.  I hit Bob, and almost hit Powell.  Sorry fellas!

* The weather was so hot, Sean's shirt turned into a Rorschach blot.

* The only time my challenge fastball worked was on JT, who probably didn't deserve it.

* John Mcg was a steady presence, and had some great blocks behind the dish.

* Greg is hurt, but still catching.  That's the spirit of the MBC right there.

New time, 1pm, see you all out there!


Somewhere in the game we added an inning, it was the 5th inning for 2 innings, so we got to play extra baseball, always a good time.


Monday, October 9, 2023

10/8/23- GGP

The Mission Baseball Club is facing a crisis.  I don't want to sound like Chicken Little, but the numbers we have been putting up for attendance are not acceptable and we are in danger of this thing of ours dying on the vine.  We have had lulls before, but this seems extraordinary.  And fucking ridiculous. 

The last few games that I have been to were paltry, at best, and this week was no different.  12 players, 2 of which were my kids.  

Currently there are 95 email addresses in our list.  Of those, 20% are legacy players that don't live remotely close to the game, but like hearing that it is still going.  

As for the rest of you, what the fuck? 

We hammered out the best we could with what we had.  There were 4 guys in the park playing catch, with a baseball, and I tried to talk them all into joining, but they were real adamant about not playing.  We tried to entice a few of the players from the olde tyme practice to play, but they said only if we moved our game down to their field.  Nah.  So 12 it was.

I started for the visitors and Mitch started for the homers.  That was pretty much how it was all game, with the last inning for us going to Phelps, who looked great, and I bet would have loved to pitch more, did I mention that all you people that aren't showing up are fucking this up?  Am I putting too fine a point on it?

The Lil's, T and C, played great in the meantime.  They got hits, assisted plays, scored runs, stole bases, made outs, got dirty, all things you could have done if you got your lazy asses out there more often.

We were on our feet the whole game, playing defense when we weren't batting, and Anna and Greg got traded back and forth about 3 times, until Greg finally put his foot down and just stopped batting.  

The game was 4-0 for most of the time, our visiting team could not put a run across.  The homers chipped away, and by the time we scored one run, so had they, and it was 5-1 going into the 9th.  Suddenly our bats came alive, and we pushed 3 runs across the board, with runners on 2nd and 3rd.  Alas, it was not to be, and the rally died, as did the game.  

Final: 5-4, homers.

Highlights

* For having 3/5 of a team, we made some good plays

* Several line drives were hit at the heads of people, and all survived

* Sean hit the turd shot of the game, dropping a fly behind 3rd, with two outfielders playing him to pull

* Thanks to the catchers, who did a great job

* Phelps behind the dish!

* Greg was in a semantics argument about location with a AAA driver for the first half of the game

* Phelps also hit two balls down the 1st base line, which made me have to run to 3rd.  

* Being the broken specimen that I am, somehow I was responsible for our first two runs scored.....

Roll Call of the Reliable

Greg

Tony

Anna

Nick W

Mitch

Mike N

Sean 

Conor

Satch

Lil Satch

Lil' Josh Gibson

Brian P


Monday, September 18, 2023

9/17/23- Camp Swampy

It was nice to get back to Camp Swampy.  I don't know when was the last time we played, but it has been a while!  We had 19 brave souls out to play, with a nice visit from the expecting MBCer Marcie.  I had brought the kids out as well, and we had a rando guy show up who said he saw us on the internet, but as far as we know, we don't advertise.  Is there a leak?  My sleuthing led me to a unsecure internet site, but I can't view it.

The game started out pretty good, Nick W was pitching for the visitors and Sean for the homers.  We scored a few, and then they scored a few, but it was all in a reasonable fashion.  Then the homers exploded in the 4th, thanks to some big hits and missed opportunities, and all if a sudden it was 9-2.  Ouch!  We of the visitors had pretty much written off the game, but it goes to show that you can never tell in our game. 

Sean came out, and Tony came in, Nick came out and Mike N came in.  Our fortunes started to shift.  The new guy left, and Lil Satch was traded to the homers.  We got a few hits and enjoyed a little bad defense ourselves.  By the 6th the score was 10-5.  Then we started picking on JT in left field.  When we weren't doing that, we had bases loaded singles 3 times in a row.  And then, Nick W. hammers one down the line, and was off to the races!  First round tripper we have seen in a while, for 3 runs, and with that mighty wallop, we took the lead for the first time, 12-10!

Satch comes in to secure the victory, the homers get one back in the 8th, and the tension is getting high.  HR comes in for the homers to lock us down, and we don't score any more runs.  It will have to be a close one.  

Our half of the 9th is quiet, and its hard to say if we can hold this lead, but in the 9th we are blessed with the amazing glove of Mike Gaspar in left field, who catches the first out coming in towards 2nd, and then for the 3rd out, makes the long run to the left field line, going full out, dives and.....makes the catch!  

12-11, Visitors!

Highlights:

* Great game all around

* The chances were there but we managed to not have anyone take a ball in the face, which is the curse of Camp Swampy

* Lil' Satch and Lil' Josh Gibson both got hits, and made some good plays.

* Bob caught a line drive at 1st that was destined for extra bases

* I had one cheater stick double, and one tree trunk double, a good day, if not only for the fact that I could run to 2nd.

* Greg took one right in the tricep, from Nick.  Hard times getting hit when you got no meat on your bones

* In addition to Gaspar, Sean and Mitch both made great catches in the outfield

* Thanks to everyone that took something off when pitching to my kids, their greatest fear--and mine--is that they are going to get hit in the head.  For those who did not take something off, well, at least you for sure struck out that 12 year old....

* Anna broke a bat, then Nick broke it again over his knee

*It was an extra base hit kind of day, I agree with Mitch's assessment, that you see the ball really well on this field

* Sean tattooed a triple that was almost a home run

* HR was gunned down at 3rd, after a weird play.  I am starting to think baserunning might not be his strong suit....

* Speaking of, I also forgot how many outs there were, and almost got out at 3rd, after I stopped running, thinking that the inning was over.

* Bob was throwing warm ups underhanded with a weird spin at 1st.  I asked him if his arm was hurt.  His response: "No, I am just being a dick."  *Cap tip*

Sunday, September 17, 2023

9/9/23 SQ Giants vs. MBC

 The Saturday games are always so much more enjoyable.  No time limits, more people around, the sun rather than the encroaching fog.  The newly re-formed SQ Giants looked resplendent in their new uniforms, courtesy of Murph, also known as Mike Murphy, the recently retired SF Giants equipment manager.  There are also a lot of new faces on the team, especially in the pitching department, and man oh man, do we miss the days when Kool-Aid when come in and walk in 4 runs.  Every pitcher we face now throws gas, along with a variety of off speed and breaking balls, and throws them all for strikes.  

This game was no different, though it stayed closer than most for a bit.  I got the start, and it is always a pleasure to throw on the SQ mound, it is perfectly manicured, and they got the good dirt.  The same umpire was behind the dish, Ol' Shorty Low Ball.  Seriously, this guy calls low strikes like he is paid to do it.  No one is exempt, including me, who's knees are about 6 inches higher than everyone else.  Not that it mattered too much, the young lefty that we have seen before was on fire.  He hammered us with fastballs for the first 4 innings and then switched to the off speed stuff and hammered us some more.  Then he started mixing in a forkball that was devastating.  

The game got off to a good start, they scored one, and we answered back.  1-1 for a few innings, then 2-1, then 4-1.  Even then, it still felt like we were playing good ball.  Our defense made some great plays, including a play at the plate to get a tagging up runner.  Not surprisingly, the throw was courtesy of Gabriel, a SQ player we borrowed to make up our sub-9 numbers. 

I finished after 6 and handed off to Mike N, who was pitching well, but his strikes were jumped on by the SQ team, and they racked up 6 runs on us.  HR came in for the 8th, and also threw well.  

At least everyone knew that the Giants were going to win, so they could relax, right?  Nope, they put in another gas-throwing lefty to finish us off in the 9th; this guy threw harder than the first.  We folded like a 7-2 off suit in the 9th and that was it.

Final, 11-1, SQ Giants.

Highlights:

* Congrats to the pitcher of the Giants, he has got everything.

* Powell and I combined for 6 strikeouts on the day, but also combined for the only run that our team scored.

* The play at the plate was awesome, the throw, Greg perfectly placed, the tag, it was a thing of beauty.

* There were remarkably few error filled innings

* The tactic of the Giants is that every single will become a triple.  They steal 2nd and 3rd as soon as possible.  We tried pitchouts and still didn't get them.

* Steve, the coach of the Giants, played 1st for us, but opted out of hitting

* Nick W made at least 2 dynamite catches in the outfield, as did HR

* John McG was responsible for at least 5 outs at 2nd, he was the defensive anchor.

* Shorty Low Ball stopped calling low strikes for an inning, and then went back to it

* HR got picked off, after we told him to be careful about getting picked off

* Mike N had the defensive play of the game, catching a line drive that would have taken his head off had he not caught it.

A few more games left in the prison season, hope we can at least score more than 1 run.

S Paige


Monday, September 4, 2023

9/3/23 GGP

Greg sent out the panic email for Labor Day weekend, not knowing if there would be enough people to field a game, after last weeks embarrassment of 10 players game against the Old Tyme guys.  Well, we were treated to the true heart and soul of the MBC, with a 24-player game!  Noice!

Sean started for the visitors and Nick W for the homers, with a wide variety of talent on both teams, and more showing up over the first few frames.  I was lucky enough to be on a team with Sean for once, and we also had John, Arson, and Arson's friend, who were all serious ballers.  I forgot what it looks like when you see 16 year-old baseball players in their ascendency running, and hitting and catching.  It's impressive.  And we also had "Lucky" Luciano, who is 10, and was a serious asset to our team this week. He made 3 putouts, and scored a run!

The homers had a lot of MBC juice, with Greg, Tony, Lattig, Gaspar, HR, Dan, Don.  They decided to throw a potpourri game, with each pitcher going 2 innings.  It made for a fun game, with different stuff about every at bat.

We jumped to a lead in the game, thanks to the aforementioned youngsters, and some other timely hitting and a few well placed errors, and we were out front 4-1.  Sean was dealing his usual filth, and kept the homers from stringing together anything too big.

I came in for the 5th and the long save.  We had expanded out lead to 6-2 by that point, and while I did give up two runs, my pitch count by the inning was: 7, 7, 8, 6.  Yep, 4 innings, 28 pitches.  Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-ficiency.

In addition to an amazing catch in left field in a important situation, Lucky also made two outs at 2nd, and almost made a third but Brian Phelps gave him the juke and avoided the tag.  I thought he may have gone out of the baseline, and said so.  Brian trotted off the field.  Greg and Tony asked me what the fuck I was doing, and why it was my business calling the game from left field.  Brian trotted back on.  

*Shrug*

Homers- 6-4, final.

Highlights:

* Pitchers for the homers: Nick W, HR, Dave,  Tony, Greg

* Dan had a deep drive to left center

* It was great to see Tim out after a long hiatus.  His excuse: he doesn't live in the Bay Area anymore....

* We had the slowest outfield on record at one point: From Left to Right: Satch, Bob, JT

* I successfully caught a ball coming off the mound

* We scored at least a few runs on weird-after-the-play errors

* Bob was a hitting machine.

* My only decent hit off the bat went to deep left, right where the outfielder was....

* Greg predicted a no-force double play that I would hit into, right before I hit in to it!

* No band today, but they deserve the day off

* Thank you to everyone that showed up, it was great to have a real game!

* Thank you to all the Labor unions that fought to get us all the things we take for granted

S. Paige


Friday, August 25, 2023

The end of the summer

 


A hearty congratulations to Liam McGrath on two very successful San Quentin games and one not-so-successful game.  The way she goes, boys.

The game that shall not be named was not anyone's finest moment, but before the game, he got a signed baseball from the inmates in acknowledgement of his previous complete game at SQ, with 12Ks!  A dominating performance.  My sources tell me that his most recent relief appearance was just as good.  

We are proud to have him amongst our ranks, and he has come a long way.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

8/20/23 GGP

The band was out in full force, and we had enough to play a game.  The weather was amazing, so few summer days that actually feel like summer days.  Sonny started for the homers, and Sean for the visitors.  

Two things are certain in a hot summer game: Pitching will be better because the muscles are warm, and Sean's back will look like a Rorschach ink blot after the 2nd inning.

Sonny was dealing, we got to him early for 2 runs, but that was it.  We could not get the ball to find a hole in the defense.  It didn't help that we also hit into 3-4 double plays, which killed every rally we might have had.  Sean pitched his heart out, and kept us in the game, but we just didn't have enough to over come.  Lil Josh came in with me to play, and he did a fine job at 2nd base, managed to get two outs, and stayed down on the grounders.  He also covered 2nd base like a 1st baseman every time there was a runner, regardless of how many times we told him he didn't have to.  It was great to have him out there.

The play that probably broke our spirit was almost great. A long drive to deep right center, and Nick Werthman on his horse.  Not a chance in hell to catch the ball, but he was running.  Then all of a sudden somehow, it was in his range, he was closing in, and it hit his glove.....and dropped out.  A collective "Awwwwww Shit" rose up.  

Our inability to match the opponents double plays, and three more almost-catches that hit us in the gloves sealed our fate.  Nick took over for Sean and HR came in to pitch, as did Mike N, and we fared a little better, bringing the score within one, but ultimately we could not retake the lead.  

We had started a little late, and we lost track of the innings, so it was the 5th about 3 innings in a row.  Even with the fudged innings, we couldn't win.

Final- Homers 5-4.

Highlights:

* Sonny pitched a great game, with his dog as a distraction

* Lots of double plays make for an easy game

*  2 or 3 infield fly rules called

* Mike Lynch was picking on Lil' all day, smashing grounders at him.  He was practicing his post game review as "having that 2nd baseman's number all game."

* Great job behind the dish for Rudy, Greg, Mike, all were blocking the ball well

* Lil' got 2 hits, made 2 outs, and stayed calm while fielding a ground ball to tag out Rudy, who was barreling at him

* Greg hitting in the 2 spot!

* Tony was our most consistent hitter

* There was a new guy out, who seemed good enough

* Carter spanked a ball, and made a couple of great plays, all with kids in tow

* The band sounded really good, they are expanding their tin pan alley repertoire, and getting more eclectic

* The only hit I had was my first at bat, a hit to right, then it was ground ball and pop ups the rest of the game

* HR was caught at 3rd, and it was disputed until his own team member Mitch called him out, you can trust Mitch.

* On the plus side, I am running more like a guy with a rock in his shoe, than a guy with a rock for a leg.  Progress!

* Lil' and I made it half a mile down the road, before our truck blew up, clunking sound, coolant dropped out, white smoke spewing out of the exhaust.  Anyone who wants to buy a 29 year old F250 diesel truck with a blown motor, let me know....

Monday, August 14, 2023

GGP- 8/13/23

Outside lands.  

The mere mention of it strikes fear into the heart of every player who wants to go to Golden Gate Park, but does not want to get mixed up in that mess.  Well, we took a gamble, and it paid off.  I was the stupid one for thinking that the park would be such a mess that I took a parking spot near UCSF and walked over, only to find that the park was deserted and parking was plentiful.  Damn!

We only had 12 by 3:15, and we started with an all-time center fielder, which was a new wrinkle, idea by Gaspar.  Then a few more showed up, and then Don came, and Luciano (Lucky to his friends) and we had 16, almost a real game!  

I won't dwell on the specifics, other than Sean was dealing all game.  Not in an overpowering strike out way, much more degrading, as in getting us to ground out or pop up sort of way.  Literally, we had an infield hit, a dying quail, and a dropped grounder to show for 8 innings.  It was ugly.  The new grass is like hitting a ball into pudding, everything dies.  

I was on the mound for the homers, and rediscovered a fastball with some zip on it by changing my arm angle and release.  I could put a inside fastball anywhere I wanted to, it was crazy.  The Cyborg battery, or Titanium battery (we are still work shopping the name) was in full effect. 

Most of the runs for the visitors were in the first inning, as I goofed a play at first not covering, we had a ground ball mishap, a throwing mishap, a weird pop up mishap, well, you get the idea.  2 runs scored.  We held on for a while, and then the visitors manufactured a run, and then another, and we were still trying to get a runner to 3rd.

I would like to say that we did, but alas, not today.  We finished 9 innings in record time, and played an extra so that Finn could pitch, and I could have my complete game.  Greg asked when I got weird about that stuff, and I am not sure, but I like the idea of throwing complete games whenever possible.  Everyone has to have a thing.

But here was the weird part, the visitors got their ups in the 10th and then pulled the bases and declared the game over.  Wha?  

Final- 4-0 Visitors

* Thank you to everyone who came out, it was looking grim

* Thanks to Finn and his dad! who played for the first time, and did well!

* Long lost MBC player alert!  Elvin came out to play, great to see him, and to hear that he is still playing ball in LA.

* Sean with a dominating day and Mike N with the boot on the throat in the 9th.

* For how lopsided it looked, our defense did a pretty good job

* Speaking of that, we had a interesting double play, which went 4-3-6-5, as you do.

* Bob made a great catch in center field to rob me of a hit

* There were more ground balls to the right side while I was pitching than I have had in awhile.

* The Gaspar Shift paid off again, though the new guy thought we were crazy.

* The knuckle ball was dancing!

* I finally hit one to the outfield for a hit, in the 9th, with 2 outs....better late than never, I guess

* Mike Lynch made an amazing play at third going to his right into foul territory and then firing a bullet to get the runner

* The report from the SQ game was another loss but that Sean pitched great, and it was much better game, including no errors, which may be a new record for us.

Monday, July 17, 2023

7/16/23 GGP

 The park is open again for games, though the grass is now really nice, they didn't do any work on the dirt, the mound, or the outfield.  So maybe that could have been done.t But it wasn't and the infield is a sandbox, the mound is a dust box, and the outfield is a kale salad.  

Seriously, they couldn't have mowed the grass before the grand re-opening?

Our other problem is that the summer time is really hard to get people out.  The last few games have been very light affairs, and I know people are travelling, or whatever, but seriously, we have 94 people on the email chain, we can't get 18 to show up?  That being said, I know that we have some regulars out with injuries and hope they are healthy again soon.  

I made 12 players when I got there at 3:15 after being stuck in traffic and then parking nightmares.  The band had at least 10, so we got showed up by them.  We got two more late comers and a public pick up, but then we lost a player to a gig, so it was 14 for most of the game.  Good nuf'!

Tony started for the homers, and Sean for the visitors.  Our team was stymied by Tony, but the homers had no problem scoring runs.  Tony bowed out, and so did Sean and HR came in for the homers, and was pitching good but we finally got our bats working, thanks to Don who stumbled his way on the field after some music festival in the mountains.  He was our good luck though, and we brought the game back within reach to 6-3.  

I took over for Sean and, not to toot my own horn, was the epitome of efficiency.  Over the next 4 innings, I threw a total of 20 pitches!  While they didn't score anymore runs, we also didn't seem to be catching up.  The attendance being what it was, it was decided that the 8th inning should be the 9th inning, so we entered the 9th down 3 runs.  Then all of a sudden, we scored a run!  Then another, and another!  6-5!  What a game!  But, as with most things, we ran out of gas and HR settled in and got the outs he needed.

Final Score: 6-5, homers

Highlights

* Thanks to everyone who showed up

* Mike N had the drive of the day, with a hit to left that got to the hard grass and rolled and rolled

* Greg volunteered to catch for both teams, thankfully he only had to do one inning.

* Mitch and Powell on the same team?  Seems sus'.

* I discovered that playing left field is easy when you dare the hitters to hit it over your head.  The grass was so thick it won't roll, and you are in the perfect position to catch the line drive over the short stop.

* The band sounded great!

* While it was 102 where I live, it was foggy and 62 degrees during the game...

7/12/23 SQ A's vs MBC

 The only thing I can say about this game is that it is always good to play ball with the SQ A's.

Brandon came in with us for the first time, a year after release, along with some restorative justice people he is working with.

We made about 14 errors, and couldn't hit the ball.

Final Score- 11-0.

Friday, July 7, 2023

7/2/23 Moscone Field

Life is a circle, as has been proven to us time and time again.  Here we were, back at Moscone, the site of the very first MBC doubleheader, and now back for the 20th anniversary.  I think this photo is from the first year, but I could be wrong

They have made some drastic changes to the Moscone field.  First off, the whole thing is fenced off now, I felt more caged there than I do at San Quentin.  

Secondly, they have locked the bathrooms, and trimmed all the big hedges, so peeing is now a exercise in timing and speed.  The only bathroom is now across the park, at the fancy Parks and Rec building.  Hard to do when you don't know if your team is going to make it a rally inning, or a 7 pitch inning.  

Thirdly, the weird pee stairs that used to be in each dugout are gone, and have been replaced with small concrete stages...

We had just enough for full games in each game, which was a little odd, since usually the doubleheader is a massively attended affair.  But hey, we will take what we can get.  Sonny started for the visitors and Satch for the homers.  Sonny was on fire, lights out for most of the game, we could not get a good hit to save our lives.  We scored one run early in the game, and that was it.  We were staffed with some big hitters but no one could put the wood to the ball.  Cap tip to Sonny for a great game.  I pitched ok, but it took me a long time to settle in after a lot of time off, and a road trip under my belt.  I kept throwing, and things started to be better after a few 2nd, and 3rd situations.  The visitors were kept to 1 run as well, partially due to some great defense from our new AOY, but more on that later.

The game went really quick, since no one was scoring any runs, and by 12:45 we were in the 8th inning.  I had stayed in, feeling good, but Powell wanted to pitch before he had to leave, so I gave up the 9th inning in deference to that (and my streak).  Well, it didn't quite turn out the way we wanted it to, the visitors suddenly woke, up and scored 3 runs, after putting at least 3 hits in the same place in left field.  Mike N came in to close the deal for the visitors, and we finally started to wake up the bats too, but in the end we fell short and the final of the first game was visitors, 4-3.

BBQ went well for very little organization.  We had hotdogs, sausages, burgers, chicken, side salads, watermelon, beer and cool drinks.  The shade of the big tree was very nice as well, as it was a scorcher of a day, by SF standards.  Thank you to those who brought out the grills and food, and ice chests.  After a very nice speech by AOY Marciella and a few grumblings from AOY Sonny, the award for 2023 AOY went to a very deserving Mike Lynch.  He has had a hell of a year, but through it all he has been such a great addition to the group: his generosity of spirit and new shirts, his power hitting and amazing 3rd base-ing, and he is just a great person.  We thought no one was more deserving.  

I also have to add that Mike wanted James to have the AOY for deserting us for the Olde Tyme league, which I agree was a good suggestion (maybe next year James!) and showed he has the right mindset for the AOY gang.  

We were also saddened to hear that Bob is considering retirement and moving back to the ranch.  Seems like he has plenty of baseball left in him, but hard to argue.  It has been a hell of a ride, cowboy.  

The band was also there, playing the entire time, and they brought the Rookie of the Year trophy back to bestow on a new ROY and this year Lil' Satch got it!  Ironic, since his brother has been out much more, and been playing a lot more games, but he was gracious in his acceptance, and then got off to a bright new start in the 2nd game with a nice line drive between 1st and 2nd for a legitimate hit!  Way to go, youngster!

2nd Game

Yes, Greg and I were the battery of the day, just a couple of cyborgs trying to wring the last of the juice from the fruit.  We stayed in for the entire 2nd game, bringing our total to 17 innings as pitcher and catcher.  A new record is born!  We kept the teams the same, but shook up the lineups a bit, and the game was very lively.  Sean was pitching for the visitors, and was pitching well, but we were able to put the bat on the ball much more than we usually are with him, and scored some runs.  

Noah and his son Liam were there, and doing baseball right.  Well, Liam was, I had Noah's number all game, 3 changeups in a row for a 1-2-3 K, ouch.  The run scoring was much improved as well, and we had a back and forth game, with some heroics, some well placed hits, some kicked around balls, and a little looser format than the first, aided by the increase in beer in the interim.  But still a fun time.  The game ended up in a 7-7 tie going into the bottom of the 9th, and the new kid came in for the visitors.  I was able to lace a hit to center, and then get a pinch runner.  Stole second, stole third, and then on a tense at bat from Stoner, who got a hit to left to end the game, 8-7 homers.  Hooray!

Highlights

* Great to see all that came out, players, fans, spouses, friends, band members, it was a fantastic day!

* 'Naldo came for the first game, made several great plays in the outfield, and was a major contributor with the bat

* Marcie also came out, played defense only, apparently she thinks I am some sort of monster that would bean her

* It was a rare off day for most of our big hitters

* New guy Conner came with Sean, and was 4-5 in the first game

* Daniel, who has made the doubleheader his once-a-year pilgrimage, had more fire than in years past.  This was evident, though it may have strayed too far in the 2nd game when he rounded 2nd on a play, and was tagged out by a tumbling Noah (on his own team) on the far side of the bag.  Daniel insisted that he beat the throw and there was no force out.  We all agreed, but we also insisted that Noah had tagged him once he was past the bag.  Daniel did not take it well.  Keep your chin up kid, and come out more often.

* Lil' Josh Gibson made a great play at 2nd for a much needed out

* All our first basemen did well on a tough day

* Tony had a case of the dropsies, blamed on a new glove

* I didn't throw a curveball for a strike until well into the 2nd game

* Mike Lynch made some more great plays at 3rd

* I actually caught a pop fly in the infield, on the run!

* Greg and I are really putting the other hitters to shame (that is until we have to run)

* The visitors turned a double play in the 1st game, which was a major rally killer

* The soreness of 17 innings is still in me

* The bummer about pitching 2 games is all the other pitchers that mess up the mound after you get it just the way you like it

* Thank you everyone, congrats to the award winners, and happy birthday America!