[Baseball] breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall all alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.
In 1990, Topps issued a card honoring the 7th Commissioner of baseball, A. Bartlett Giamatti. Once the President of Yale University who walked the Quadrangle wearing the cap of his beloved Red Sox, Giamatti died of a heart attack 9 days after issuing a lifetime ban against Pete Rose for gambling on baseball.
Today — despite the sparkling late summer skies belying the chill of Autumn around the corner — at the field behind Brighton High School, we felt Giamatti’s twinge of the heart. It was the last Sunday Game at the Corners.
And what a season. Kid Hansen hit the longest shot. We recovered the ball lost in the creek. Evicted an umpire. We watched aghast as Casper scored the winning run. Shadi celebrated the 4th of July at the game. Marty showed us how to play 19th Century baseball. And Talker hit a three run walk off game winning home run. (FULL SERIES AT END.)
Still we saved some drama for the Sunday finale. In the bottom of the 7th in a tie game with runners on first and third, Rosenbaum strode to the plate to face Kramer.A fitting match up. In the season highlights voting, Brad had won Under-40 MVP, while Kramer garnered Over-40 MVP by the very slimmest of margins. Already having torched Kramer for 4 home runs, a double and 10 RBIs, Rosenbaum looked to end the game in walk off fashion. A fat pitch a little low but in the zone. Then, as the Yankees announcer Jon Sterling might say, the ball flying over the fence was an A-Bomb for A-Brad! And both MVP’s jumped for joy. They were on the same team.
This game each team pitched to themselves. Kramer had pitched, except when batting. So he was cheering for each A-Brad-Bomb. Actually, Kramer had started the rally with a single off Raff. After a force out at second, he returned to the mound to throw the walk off pitch, then walking off himself.
I eeked out Over-40 MVP by a razor thin margin. garnering votes as Most VALUABLE because of an ability throw easy pitches, sometimes pitching for both teams. Brad’s rampage today may have swayed some undecided voters.
Neil was considered to have the best softball instincts. Neil knows the game well from having been commissioner of Brighton Baseball for a couple of years.
The elder statesman of the game, Charles has a great attitude. Not wanting to pick favorites, Charles skipped the voting.
Anthony’s great attitude was proven when he was the one who recruited all our Girls of Summer.
No doubt a performer on the Yiddish vaudeville stage in a previous life, Raff claimed wittiest in game banter.
In the mental lapse category, when Bobry saw he had some competitors after the initial voting round, he started yelling to his teammates, “Let’s get a triple play!” — when there were already two outs.
Blake won most obnoxious handily. But he was also seen stuffing the ballot box in his own favor.
Sam and Howard really poured it on as the season progressed. Though clearly over 40, Howard was placed on two ballots as both Over 40 and Under 40.
The players will keep busy in the off season. Bobry will no doubt keep showing up at field wondering, where is everybody? Brad’s Brighton High School volleyball team will be defending its state title. This year Raff believes he will roll a 301 or 302 game at the B’Nai Brith Bowling League.
And the last pics from the Brighton Farmers Market around the corner from the Game at the Corner.
Anon, players at the Corners. Until we meet again.
2015 Game at the Corners
2016 Game at the Corners