THE VALLEY, CA – The sun beat down on the faded blue lid of my Brooklyn Dodgers cap yesterday as I lay on my back in the green green grass. I stared up at the inside panels and stitching and the little vent holes as it was propped over my face, which trapped the heat inside like a Dutch oven (I burped up some of the potatoes, leeks, and onions I had for father’s day breakfast), and tried to relax. Hot day summer in The Valley, but the grass was cushiony soft, and a few bees buzzed about their work nearby, and the alluring scent of just-lit charcoal had wafted in from somewhere…all very peaceful and pastoral, and I really wished I had an icy Arnold Palmer to sip. Then I heard our second baseman Carmen (whose predilection for pre-game pep talks got him the nickname “Carmentary“) yell “Okay, no outs, let’s get this guy…” and I had to pull myself up and back to reality. We just had another pitching change, the third of this inning alone, and still there was nobody out. Right field is like the Fields of Elysium on days like this, only your loved ones aren’t waiting for you (they’re back at home playing Minecraft).
We were getting a royal beat down. No mercy rule in our league, but the other team stopped stealing bases after going up by ten, started going merely station to station when they got past fifteen, and by twenty they were swinging from their heels to either knock one out of the park or strike out trying just to move it along. We had just brought in our center fielder, who also happened to be the guy who started the game by walking three of the first four batters he faced way back when, but here in the seventh he was probably our best option to throw strikes and get us out of this inning. Yes, it was that kind of day yesterday. It was so bad that I was actually playing right field.
I haven’t played outfield since I was a sophomore in high school, when in one game I had a routine fly ball skip off the top of my glove and then carom off my head into center field while I dropped to the ground. I told the coaches who came running to see if I was okay, barely suppressing giggles, that I was more embarrassed than injured, and the next day at practice my coach sent a helmet out for me to wear in the field. In that same game I ran into the center fielder as we both went after the same ball, and to this day I’ve never had the wind knocked so thoroughly out of me, to the point where I was incapacitated trying to breath while the center fielder stumbled over to get the ball in. Needless to say, I don’t have fond memories of the outfield.
Good news is I made two decent catches out there, and the game mercifully came to an end, eventually, As has this post without me making any mention of any other sports. I’ll leave that for you all to discuss in the comments. Grote2DMax tomorrow!