(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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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 bring 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.
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.