Sometime this week an alien mound landed on the softball field between the Brighton Middle and High Schools, the customary diamond of the Game at the Corners. (see at end)
Our necessitated shift to the field directly behind the high school worked well as we had our biggest turn out of the year. Both dugouts were filled as the sparkling July morning drew 19 players.
In the pre-game announcement, David Esan explained that because the fences are short on this field, each team gets only one home run over the fence per inning. After that, a ball hit over the fence was an out.
Esan also announced that a week ago our comrade Zev had become a new father and that he had attended the bris.
Happy for Zev as a person but unmoved as a ballplayer, Bobry registered an objection to Zev’s absence. After Esan’s announcement, Bobry chimed in: So where is he? That was 7 days ago. The rules committee quickly huddled and allotted Zev two weeks of paternity leave.
Esan also introduced two new players, Anne and Kylie. Last year we had some Girls of Summer at the Game at the Corners. But Anne and Kylie were our first 2016 Summer Girls.
The timing was fitting.
As described this morning in The New York Times, the Houston-based Scrap Yard Dawgs recently made national headlines by signing Monica Abbot to a million dollar contract.
Wanting our own national headlines, we actually paid Anne and Kylie each 1 million dollars for this single game.
And they played like million dollar bonus babies, earning every penny as they covered their outfield positions deftly and placed line drives and hard grounders all over the field.
We’ve had some great moments this season. There was Kid Hansen’s Ruthian swat. And that deep shot that went into the creek. And when Caspar scored his spectral winning run (see at end). And another one today if I may modestly report.
With an ability to throw meatballs, I pitched for both teams. Given my fat pitches, the teams were tolerant as I annoyingly pestered people to take pics of the Summer Girls. Through 6 1/2 innings the easy pitches were better serving the other team as we trailed 14 – 5 entering our last at bats.Pitching to them carefully, my teammates knocked one clutch hit after another. Then it was my turn down 14 – 12 with two outs and runners on first and third.
Feeling loose all day, I had already hit three solid singles. The night before I had watched A-Rod strike out 4 times but awoke this morning feeling decidedly not A-Rod. As we had not yet used our one home run,the short Fenway Park-like left field fence beckoned.
Raff pitched one high but in the zone. For a brief moment, the trot around the bases was just a little what Joe Carter of the Blue Jays felt in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series.
For what it’s worth, it was my most memorable swing since 1992 when I taught American History at the Harley School and during the faculty vs. student baseball game hit one like the younger A-Rod over center field.
At the Brighton Farmers Market around the corner, the band played on as it does every week.
This week’s gig was a repeat performance by The Tree Shakers with RIT professors Babak Elahi and Grant Cos. As she has done several times in the past, Nancy Gingold took the picture.
TEASE: Perhaps next week, NYS Assemblyman Joe Morelle will be joining us.
Back in the day, Joe was a solid softball fast pitch catcher. Recently, Joe challenged us to a fast pitch game — like a latter day King and His Court — in which Joe will use only 4 players on his side. Luckily, the Girls of Summer will be on our side.