Back in my day of small town Little League teams and sandlot fields, baseball was about fun.
Carloads of parents and dating teens would sit in cars ringing the outfield, usually having a beer while stretched out on the hood. Winning and losing mattered, but it wasn’t everything.
And once a summer, barnstormers might pass through using routines like “Ain’t Lookin’ “ and the old hidden ball trick to entertain the crowd.
Or, the local men’s team would host a night of “Donkey Ball” in which every batter had to mount a donkey after getting a hit and ride it around the bases. Trust me, those games were a barrel of laughs for all concerned.
Back then, Collector cards still came with bubble gum and while you might keep a couple, most of them ended up clothes-pinned to your bike wheel so your ride sounded like a motorcycle. And the apex of our MLB heroes’ celebrity was a Gillette commercial.
Yeah, baseball has changed a lot over the years. But, I’m not going to go all Andy Rooney here, as many have following a week of baseball drug suspensions and millionaire player lawsuits that have dominated both sportscasts and celebrity gossip websites.
And I refuse to get sour because my beloved Blue Jays are languishing in the basement of their division despite signing stars and upcoming phenoms “guaranteed” to bring back our glory days.
For there is still “fun” at the highest level of baseball, where a struggling team can still find a creative way to outsmart one that baseball’s brain trust has branded “unbeatable”.
The old hidden ball trick.
Enjoy Your Sunday.