Kid Hansen scores! [Photo: ESPN photographer Kramer] Photos cropped with help from student worker Kelsi Barnholt at Nazareth College’s Wilmot Library 5/22/16
The Boys of Summer are back on Winton Road. And all Girls of Summer are strongly encouraged to join.
Every Sunday summer morning, from May 1st to Labor Day, a group of guys show up at the Brighton baseball field (between Brighton High School and 12 Corners Middle School) at 9:30 am to play a pick up softball game.
Their ages range from teenagers to some 60 year olds, and they have been doing this for about 25 or maybe 35 years (no one knows for sure). A typical player is 60 year old Jeff Feldman, long past his “glory days,” playing stick ball and touch football as a kid on the streets of New York City. Today, Jeff gives an honest showing on the field and at bat. Considers it a victory if he makes it home in an upright position. Keeping in shape in the off season with daily workouts on his treadmill doesn’t hurt. (SEE ENTIRE SERIES AT END)
Actually, the Boys had a very busy off season, especially Brad Rosenbaum. Brad coached the Brighton Volleyball team to the first boys state title in school history. Brad’s father-in-law Michael Raff celebrated the 5th anniversary of his 300 game at the B’Nai Brith bowling league with a pin-dropping re-creation of the fabled event. And I even tried out for a men’s baseball team.
For Sunday’s game — as we sometimes do — players were divided into three teams, with the A team narrowly defeating B and C by 14-11-11.
The dramatic early season contest set the stage for a summer’s worth of ESPN moments.
On one play, I was standing firm at the plate while Raff was rounding third, a menacing blur looking like Pete Rose approaching Ray Fosse in the 1970 All Star game.
Kid Hansen’s throw was on target but the hard charging optometrist knocked the ball free from my glove. I didn’t see it coming! To my credit, the very next inning the Kid fired another bullet to the plate and this time I held on tightly.
Raff attributed his Charlie Hustle blow to a winter of B’Nai Brith bowling:
I “bowled over” our intrepid author and editor, who did his best Geena Davis impression in the culmination of A League of Their Own (in perhaps the one and only time he has ever been compared to Geena Davis!) by dropping the ball at the play at the plate.
Many of the other players were less impressed, saying Raff looked like he had pulled the “A-Rod move” from game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series.The smash of the day belonged to Kid Hansen, only 21 years old. Caught on camera were both Kid’s hit and score.
The game was not without its controversy. One player, “No Life of” Riley, left early for a tennis match (forfeiting his place in the group photo).
In a act of skulduggery, Team A orchestrated a trade in which they acquired Hansen to replace Riley!Deprived of our spiritual leader, Kidless, our team B went down meekly in our final at bats.
One advantage to your coming to the games is the Brighton Farmer’s Market held from 9am – 2pm at the Brighton High School. On Sunday, Market marketing director, Susan Gardiner-Smith –who apparently had seen the game — was interviewed by Channel 8’s Abby Noble.
Also every Sunday is music. Yesterday “Rick Crummins & Friends” did the honors. The trio has performed at the Wegman’s Café in Penfield, Espanda in the Village Gate, the Little Theatre café and Tavern 135 in East Rochester.
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