"" Writer's Wanderings: Throwback Thursday - The Sandlot

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Throwback Thursday - The Sandlot

Recently there was a news story about some kids who have some organized unorganized baseball on Tuesday nights. The only rule, other than the usual baseball rules, is that parents are not allowed on the field. They are not allowed to scream and yell at the players for good or bad plays. I'm sure it makes for an interesting evening. The kids choose up sides, just like in the old days, and if there are six outfielders and two third basemen, it's okay. They just play and have fun.

It reminded me of my old "sandlot" days. We grew up next to my grandfather's house which was next to an empty lot that never seemed to have anything grow on it. I don't remember there being sand since our land was mostly clay but there was lots of shale which was kind of like coarse sand when it began to break down. It was dusty and dirty and we loved it.

Our bases were whatever we could find that was big enough to get a foot on. Their placement was eyeballed not measured. We played with a softball and a wooden bat. If we had a half dozen kids we were lucky. Our neighborhood didn't have a lot of kids in it.

I loved to pitch. We never called balls and strikes. The idea was to hit the ball and run like crazy so my pitches were thrown to try and make that happen. I thought I did pretty well.

The only adult we had watching our game was probably my grandfather who I'm sure enjoyed our shenanigans. He was our buddy and never reported to our mother when we were off doing something she wouldn't have approved. With a wag of the finger, he would warn us that he knew. That's all it took.

That's where the love of baseball started for me. I went on to intramural play in junior high but that was a little too organized. Some of the fun was gone. Still, the sandlots of the world have produced some great players and organized or not, I enjoy the watching.

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