The American people have been on extraordinarily good behavior.
By now with all of this “mitigation” to curb the coronavirus, I would have bet the farm that the citizens of this great country would have told the politicians to stuff their dictatorial “mitigation” ploys, and gone back to work.
The President is working hard to get this country back open for business, and most of those with whom I talk (by phone of course) are ready to get back on the job. As one of my friends told me, “If this is a war, we’ve got to act like it’s a war. We’ve got to realize that when you fight a battle, you can expect to have casualties.” I do not want people to die, but I wonder if this so-called cure is worse than the disease.
But I’m sick and tired of talking about the coronavirus. It is springtime, and my thoughts have turned to baseball. I didn’t realize how much I missed baseball until there were no games to attend.
I miss going out to Manchester, climbing up in the press box, and preparing to broadcast the game. I miss watching talented young people play the game, and excel. The season was destroyed by an unseen virus, and I feel bad for the young men who missed the opportunity to show their talents. Cade Potter and Ty Kilpatrick come to mind.
Potter is a tall, strong first baseman, who has the knack of hitting a baseball. Even at a young age, he had the power to hit home runs. He has one of those swings that telegraphs that if you throw the ball in his sweet zone, someone out in the left field bleachers will have a souvenir.
This was his year. As it turned out, this was the baseball season that never was. If a college gives Cade a chance, I believe they will be rewarded for signing an outstanding ballplayer.
Then there is Ty Kilpatrick. We nicknamed him the “good hands man” because he is blessed with hands that can catch about anything thrown or hit to him.
His natural position is shortstop, but he can actually play anywhere. He has a great eye at the plate, and he can hit with power. From my standpoint, Ty is another diamond that some college could turn into an outstanding player.
“The season that never was” has also prevented Ty from closing out a senior year with an outstanding baseball record. The old saying that “life isn’t fair” is certainly true this spring.
I miss going to the ballpark to watch youngsters who are just beginning to play baseball. There will always be the kid who hits the ball and runs to third. His coach, usually his dad, is frantically trying to turn him around, and all of his kinfolks in the stands are standing and pointing toward first.
The young player is oblivious to the directions coming from the stands and from his coach. He stands on third base with a smile that one can see from centerfield looking as if he has just hit a home run. He’s having fun.
I miss the charisma of the baseball field. Sam Nichols’ Field comes to mind. Thousands of baseball games have been played on this field, and yes, this field has charisma. Many young men who played on this field have gone on to play at the very highest levels.
Then, there are the great stories. Once when I was part of an umpiring team calling a tournament game, a player slid into second base. He came in a little hot and turned his ankle.
I called timeout to give his coach time to attend to the injury, and while he was looking at the player’s ankle, I caught the faint smell of expensive perfume. Against the rules, mom had come out of the stands to check on her little boy.
I could have escorted her off the field, but my common sense intervened. I wasn’t about to tell this young mom that she couldn’t check on her son.
After a minute or two, the young man jumped up and played the rest of the game. I felt pretty good. I had avoided an argument that I was destined to lose.
We’ve got to get back to baseball and doing what we do. Being without baseball is unnatural. Being without a job is un-American.
It’s time folks. If President Trump has his way, we will be hitting on all eight cylinders soon. Let’s play ball!