The Boys Of Spring

The clock on the dresser is reading 10:15 a.m. and I am running late.  My buddies at the park are going to be displeased with me, I am not there, and even if I do make it now, I am going to be picked last.

Man, I hate it when they pick me last.  No one ever wants to be picked last, you want to go over to the other side first.  I am running late, and I just know, I have to get it in gear.

Mom has a regiment for me, clean your room on Saturday and you “do it right mister” or you are not going anywhere … period.  I have to dust it, change out the sheets, take the dirty clothes out to the garage and dump them in the hamper and then it is time for the dreaded inspection.

She will enter the room like a seasoned Marine drill instructor, sans white glove, and she will inspect the room for all the things a young lad misses when he is trying his level best to do a mediocre job and get the ____ outta there.

Five minutes later, I am passed with flyin colors and I grab a hastily made PBJ (Peanut Butter and Jelly) out of the kitchen, grab my bike and head for the park.

On Saturday we all meet and in the spring, we play baseball at the park, shaggin fly’s on the well manicured grass in the shade of huge Eucalyptus trees.  On some days, we skip lunch completely and play into the shank of the evening, as the sun slowly sets in the west, you can often hear the crack of the bat, and one more call of … “I got it!  I got it!”

A loose knit tribe who share a common bond and slap a little leather in the early months of spring.

A big part of my youth was consumed by baseball and often I think back on it all, and I feel a little remorse for it in my heart.  Those days when all of were lined up and told to sit with our backs to bleachers while the coaches went over our names and decided who was going to be a Tiger and who was not.

I always wanted to pitch but they made me a catcher because I was the only one who did not blink when the batter swung on the ball and I could catch it.  Story of my life, overqualified for the position but one more time.

Never could hit a curve or a slider, and I only hit one home run that I can remember, but they were still good days in my life.  Little League and having my own uniform was okay.  But I have to admit, the days I remember the most, were the days at Sorenson Park on Saturday knocking around with my buddies and no one was keeping score.

Those were the best.