Who’s counting at the Game at the Corners

Who’s counting at the Game at the Corners

(l-r) Michaeal Raff, David Kramer, Mike Hansen, David Esan, Zev [Photo: Tom Hansen] 6/19/16

We are ballplayers not mathematicians.

Last week I tried to impose Law and Order on the Sunday 9:30 pick up game at the field between the Brighton High and Middle Schools.  The experiment ended with several lifetime bans, but undaunted, this week I added arithmetic and a scoreboard to the Game at the Corners.

In our game, each team is supposed to keep track of its score in its collective mind.  Problems arise at the end of innings when — without benefit of calculator or abacus — teams must add their newest runs to the previous total. The results often fall within what  mathematicians call chaos theory: if a run is not counted, does it count?


Mike and Mike

So we brought in optometrist Michael Raff — well versed in the smallest numbers on the eye chart — to lead a group tutorial on finger counting. I made it to ten, but then had to de-shoe in search of toes to go higher. Kid Hansen reached one ball.

We were ready for the scoreboard. 7 – 3. A success.

We considered a scorecard as scoring a baseball game with pencil and paper is considered the manliest of arts, but had neither pencils nor paper.

In recreational softball, a quality scorekeeper is worth his/her weight in gold. In games I umpire, the scorekeeper is usually one player’s wife or girlfriend.


Suzyn Waldman’s scorecard, game 6, 2009 World Series

With some scorekeepers, I have accepted that the concept of top or bottom of inning or home and away team is elusive.  But it still grates to hear when asking the score; “4 points for us; two points for them.” But I go with the flow. As seen in the photo, it was 7 points for Schoolmaster Raff and 3 points for Kid Hansen.

Before you shriek sexism, I applaud Susyn Waldman for breaking the paper ceiling when she became the first woman announcer to keep score during the 2009 World Series.

And the Iron Women who keep score at the 100 inning game at Cobb’s Hill make us finger counters look like Neanderthals.

strassburg scorecard

from Street & Smith’s now defunct. Here is Kramer & Kramer’s Official 2016 Yearbook

strassburg ticket

from Street & Smith’s now defunct. Here is Kramer & Kramer’s Official 2016 Yearbook

Actually, a scorecard can have collectible value. At  Syracuse Chiefs’s Stephen Strasburg’s famous “Hat Gate” game (D & C), I kept my scorecard for future sale on ebay.  To add credence to its authenticity — conceivably, one could fill out an old scorecard at any time, such as when Strasburg gets elected to the Hall of Fame — I also saved the player roster and ticket stub.


Here, Hanson Sr. is overshadowed by the shadow of the Kid in the on deck circle

hansenin dirt

zen sand dune scoreboard

As for the game itself, history was made. Ala the Griffeys, both Mike “Kid” Hansen (pictured above scoring) and his father Tom Sr. are now captured on film scoring a run while playing on the same team.


Photo: Ian Stroszeck 6/19/16

Tom’s historic trot was not without controversy. For a few innings, we had marked the scores of the two team in the dirt near home plate: Hansens vs. Everyone Else.

But in Tom’s zeal, his footprints ruined our scoreboard which had been like a Zen concentric sand dune sculpture.

Today was also a special day at the Brighton Famer’s Market (9 – 1 pm in the High School parking lot) — Arts at the Market Day.

As explained by Claire McLauchlin, Coordinator of the Friends of the Arts in Brighton (FAB)

van gogh 1

Photo: Ian Stroszeck 6/19/16

Arts at the Market is run by Friends of the Arts in Brighton (FAB) as a way to celebrate the quality of arts education in the Brighton school district, and to connect the district with the town. Looking back on the day, I think the biggest thing that happened was that students from the BHS Concert Choir spoke about how important it is, in the wake of the Orlando shootings and other violence, to have the Arts to van gogh 2bring people together. They then sang “You are not Alone,” voicing the supportive and welcoming atmosphere that students can find within Brighton.

At the event, I met Ian Stroszeck, a Senior in the Fall and President of the BHS Photo Club. Ian did a great job taking photos of the day for FAB.


Photo: Ian Stroszeck 6/19/16

Ian has nice eye for composition, choosing well the Van Gogh sidewalk art. There is a good chance Ian will be at RIT next year. Ian, we’d love to have you take more pics for the magazine.


Pick up softball games still exist

The Boys of Summer are back at The Corners

Ball in creek disrupts Game at the Corners; Blake hits for the cycle

Casper scores the winning run at The Corners

Umpire added to Game at the Corners. Players subtracted

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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