October 13, 2009
I’m back from a trip to the land of milk and Hawkeyes to witness the 11th ranked Hawkeyes conquer Michigan. I also had to clean out a bunch of old stuff of mine that had been sitting in the basement for years. I found a ton of great stuff. I also raised my office chair a little bit. That is a sure sign that you are bored.
Good news! We have reached the 200 comment posted plateau. Congrats everybody. Some will say that this blog has the best, funniest, wittiest, interesting and strange commenters in all the internet. I say it’s true. And, in fine fashion, this was the 200th comment, which came from Gina:
“As bad as it sounds, the last thing I said to my mom on the phone was “well, go put some clothes on before you go to work.” Seriously.”
So, that pretty much paints an accurate picture of the people commenting on this blog. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use her comment as an inspiration for this post because it was in reference to a previous post. I keep things moving here.
For the last prompt I asked: What are you doing tonight?
I will use Matt’s answer:
“Wallowing in self-pity. I feel like a Cubs fan.”
I believe Matt is a Cardinals fan and he now understands what it is like to be swept by the Dodgers, as the Cubs were last year. Living now in the heart of Cardinals country…well, St. Louis is probably the heart…making Springfield the kidneys of Cardinals country…I am often confronted by said Cardinals as to my allegiance to the rival Cubs. Baseball fandom is really all about family. I like the Cubs because my dad liked the Cubs, because his dad liked the Cubs, and so on. There is no trash you can talk as a Cubs fan, none. Maybe if it was less than 100 years since their last championship there would be a thread left, but as is there is nothing to say. The best thing to do is nod politely and internalize it until you get home and yell at the microwave because it’s too confusing.
However, Cardinals neighbors, I was actually once a Cardinal. I played on the Cardinals of the Iowa City Little League t-ball division. In honor of the playoffs, here are the highlights of my Little League career.
1985. T-Ball. Cardinals
I don’t remember much from this time, as I was in second grade. My memories mostly include my coaches. At this time it was my first exposure to adults who weren’t family or teachers. Coach number one was Margaret, a heavy woman with flannel shirts and a smoking “don’t call it a” problem. There were also various other dad coaches who wore mesh hats and aviator sunglasses. I played shortstop and I played it…averagely. We were a pretty good team that finished probably in the upper half of the division. I played in the All Star Game. A dad got thrown out of that game, it was not mine. Highlight: Ben Cole, our catcher came to the plate during a furious rally and struck out. It was ultimately forgiven because he had two Shetlan ponies at his birthday party. Overall record 16-14.
1986. Junior League. Giants
As I was expecting in the ride up the leauges, this team was better. We had mesh jerseys, some even wore batting gloves. We weren’t quite the team who had 12 assistant dad coaches so they could stack the team with good athletes, but we were scrappy. I played shortstop and second base. Billy was a year older and he had a batting cage in his backyard. The black mesh jerseys turned out to be a mistake for an outdoor summer sport. Highlight: While taking popups during warmups against the Astros I lost a ball in the sun and it hit me in the lips. I awoke to find my team huddled around me while sunlight beamed in between their bodies. Overall record 17-12.
1987. Junior League. Giants.
As a leader on the team, I figured this was our year. I pitched and played shortstop. I think this was the year that I started to realize that I was really afraid of the ball. The number of mesh hat wearing, mustache having, aviator sunglasses sporting coaches increased to four. Highlight: After games you could turn in pop cans you found in the trash to the concession stand for either 5 cents or a gummy worm. Overall record: 15-17.
1988-1989. Senior League. Red Sox
These two years run together. We won a total of three games in two years. It was a Motley Crew of misfits and has beens. We were like the Indians in the movie, Major League, but we never got better. The three most memorable kids on the team were Gary, Dale, and Chris–who had the glasses that really magnify your eyes. I broke my wrist in ’89 and missed most of the season. We lost to the champion A’s barely in my first game back 4-3. There were at least four kids on my team who wore jeans every game. Not good. Some of the coaches wore two pairs of aviator glasses and had fu manchu mustaches. Highlight: While taking grounders from first base before the first innning, the third baseman threw across the infield, nailing Dale, the 6’2″ 250 pound six grade pitcher in the noggin. Dale went down in a heap. I cautiously pitched the rest of the game instead. Overall Record: 3-infinity.
After sixth grade I had a brief retirement ceremony and called it quits. Sometimes my wife will wear my old Red Sox shirt because it fits her. The sixth grader in me can’t believe his eyes.
Next prompt: What is wrong with you?