CHRISTY AND TIFFANY,
(AUGUST 17, 2010) I loved baseball as a child.
I played from early morning until the sun went down. I watched professional games (in black and white) on television in the 1950s and 60s. I had (and still have) a Sandy Koufax baseball glove. I had a large collection of baseball cards which I don't know where they are presently. (NOTE: When I was in the, maybe, 4th or 5th grade, I bought baseball cards for 10 for 10 cents, and they came with bubble gum. I had a short period of entrepreneurship that year as one of my classmates liked my ball cards, and he paid me a nickle for each one. That, I learned, was a good return on my investment. For each 10 cent of investment, I would receive 50 cents. This went on for several days, and then someone told Bill that he could get them cheaper on his own, and he eliminated the "middle man," me.
During my early years I loved the New York Yankees. That was when Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, Bobby Richardson, and Whitey Ford were among the top players, and they were all on the Yankees at one time.
In my later early years (age 12-20), the Cincinnati Reds were my team. They were also my dad's favorite (he liked the Cleveland Browns football team). Sparky Anderson was the Reds' colorful (pardon the pun) manager, and the team dominated the majors with their BIG RED MACHINE that included Pete "Charley Hustle" Rose and catcher and home run leader Johnny Bench. Was Bench "juicing" then? No one knows, and no one seemed to care back then. It was the age of innocence in baseball.
Now for my own, short, career. I played baseball for 4 years (9 and 10 in the minor league and 11 and 12 in Little League - my team was the Reds). My positions were 1st base, right field, and pitcher. Our team was NOT very good. We had a manager who wanted everyone to play, and there wasn't pressure to win, and we didn't win very many games.
My best friend, Roger Weikle, however, was on the Giants which was a team that had a much better winning record. They usually stomped us when they played. I remember pitching against the Giants, and Roger came up to bat. We kind of broke down in laughter at the thought of the situation while he was standing there. I think he got a hit - ouch. Later in the same game, he pitched to me. I either struck out or walked - I can't remember which one.
My mother, as did most mothers of the ball players, worked in the concession stand. Whenever I came up to bat, she left the building and watched.
I was a pretty good hitter. However, I wasn't a very good runner. I tended to run on my toes, and I would have to hit the ball almost out of the field to get a single. I did get on base most of the times I was at bat. When I didn't hit, I walked - I had a good eye.
I didn't progress to the upper league called Babe Ruth League. I found other interests and never played much baseball after that.
Your mother, however, did play softball for our church league (WMBC) the first couple of years we were members there. I worked in the concession stand (just kidding).
I have, at this date, only attended one professional baseball game in my life. The game was in 1966 and was in Washington, DC. The Washington Senators (now defunct) played the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles had some outstanding players at the time including Boog Powell, Brooks Robinson, and Frank Robinson. The Orioles won the World Series that year. The Senators, as always, ended up in last place.
I still have a cursory interest in baseball, but could care less about college baseball and will, sometimes, enjoy watching several innings of a professional game on TV, usually falling asleep in about the 3rd or 4th inning and waking up when the game is over. I find baseball a little slow to watch on TV.
NOTE: I have a front chipped tooth that is regularly being repaired by Greg Howard. I got that one Saturday morning when I was running forward for a ball hit in my friend Roger's back yard, and Roger was running backwards for the same ball. We collided, and I got up missing part of my front tooth.