The World Series is on this week and my mind flashed back to baseball through my years, a zig-zag view of the sport. When I was a kid, we played baseball all the time, mostly a version of workup with whoever was available in the neighborhood. My brother played on a team, but it was different. We all didn’t go to every game, sometimes the coach piled the kids in his car to drive somewhere, they went for ice cream after games, there were no trophies unless you won something really big, like a whole season. Kids just played baseball and dads coached. I guess there were leagues for the ones who were really good, but I don’t remember much about those.

The World Series was a big deal. Countless friends of mine remember teachers setting a radio in the window of the classroom so the kids could listen to the series, which were mostly played during the day. We sat quietly at our desks, listening to the sounds of the game. I loved the Yankees because of Mickey Mantle. I don’t think I knew he was from Oklahoma, but who was more baseball than Mickey? Years later, my father played golf with him and I was impressed. I’m still impressed even knowing his life’s ups and downs. I have a cat named Mickey because he swats with both paws, a switch-hitter like the Mick.

Baseball was always around, but I was doing different things until my kids were in high school. One of my daughters played softball in high school and I learned to keep score, definitely an insight into the game and all its intricacies. I didn’t really get back into it until my husband got season tickets to our local AA team and we became fans, real fans. Our seats were in the second row behind home plate and we would go early to watch them line the fields, watch the team warm up. It was a place where we lived in a different world with friends who sat around us, player’s wives, scouts, kids all over the place. It was a world of what we want the real world to be. There were no outside worries at the ballpark. You ate your hot dog and cheered for your team. I love AA ball because you are watching kids who are on the verge of making it big. Some of them did and it was fun to watch them move on to the big leagues. Some of them played minor league ball for a long time and finally had to move along. That life of little pay, long bus rides, motels and time from your family isn’t always fun no matter how much you love the game.

We kept those tickets for 19 years, after my husband died, after the kids all had kids. The family went together, we loved the mascot, we watched fireworks, we played the games outside the field, one of my grandsons went to the player clinic. Many happy family memories at the ballpark. We finally gave them up when the team moved to a nicer stadium. It wasn’t because we lost interest in the game, but because we had our own ballplayers now and too many games to watch to make all the big games. We still love them…we just pick and choose our games.


I never saw a major league game in person until a visit to Denver in 2010 where we watched the Rockies play the Cubs, my son-in-law’s favorite team. It was a treat, a special game in beautiful Coors Stadium but not quite as intimate as our home AA field. There’s something nice about watching kids who are trying to make the dream that can beat out multi-million dollar players for winning your heart.


I do love the game. I watched Ken Burn’s series, “Baseball,” and love all the history, the symbolism. I’m not one who can throw out all the stats, but it doesn’t matter. Today, I have three grandsons playing the game, playing because they love to play. They play pretty competitively so I thought they all were trying to reach the pros. I think they’d like to play at least into college. Mostly, they just play to get better and keep playing. It’s fun to watch them, fun to watch the families who make every game on fields that are better than the pro teams played on in the game’s beginnings.




Pretty good lessons in life. Sometimes you swing and hit a home run, sometimes you strike out. You run to the bases, trying to get to the next one and then you come home. There’s the glory of the win and the sting of defeat. You’re part of a team and you play together to win. All those things we’ve heard through the years.

Nothing too profound here. Just having some baseball memories. Here’s a good quote to ponder while you watch the series…

“Baseball was made for kids, and grown-ups only screw it up.”
Bob Lemon