ALL STAR BASEBALL

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“Wow! Wow! Wow!” Those three words are the hook to get you to continue reading until you discover the reason for the big WOW! Let me preface that by saying the General doesn’t always get it right. Despite her perception that her understanding of every issue is completely accurate and that you can hang on to every word that comes out of her mouth as an absolute fact, sometimes simply isn’t true. Even the General occasionally gets it wrong.

 

Of course, the General may tell you that my perception of what she previously shared with me got crossed in my head. She probably would assert that I’m the one who didn’t completely understand. At some very vague level, that is always a possibility. However, I heard her correctly on this one.

 

The issue around the misunderstanding had to do with “ALL STAR – Little League Baseball” is Sealy, Texas. Folks in Sealy plan their summer vacations around it. Never ever would they purposely be away from their “piece of paradise” while the All STAR games were being played in Sealy. Baseball has somehow emerged as a sacred responsibility. You best demonstrate your love for God and Country by being present for All STAR baseball.”

 

Truthfully, all that is Greek to me! I have absolutely no frame of reference. I didn’t play ball as a kid. Okay, truth-be-known, I didn’t make the team. It is as simple as that. I wasn’t good enough. My mother never sat foot in Sealy, but she would agree: “There is something wrong with you if you don’t play baseball”.

 

I’ll get into trouble for disclosing this, but even Craig didn’t play baseball as a kid. Why would he? He heard it from me, “The other sports are better. Stick with them”. And so he did.

 

Craig has only been retired two and a half years and the only real memorable frame of reference his kids have around school prior to Sealy, America is at Camp Lejeune, NC. In North Carolina “SOCCER” is king. Sure they had baseball, but it paled in contrast to the enthusiasm around soccer. Craig’s kids played soccer.

 

They came home to Texas for a visit one year when the kids were really young and Craig later shared with me: “Dad, it is really embarrassing. Becky’s family thinks there is something wrong with my kids because they don’t play baseball.” Well, “What would people think?” It has been the family curse we inherited from my mother. She went to her grave being embarrassed that I got a failure slip in Spanish in the 8th grade. She probably was also still stressed that I didn’t play baseball.

 

At some point, Craig’s kids added baseball to their regime in North Carolina to supplement their love for soccer. The reason has to do with Sealy America and Craig’s embarrassment that his kids didn’t fit it with their cousins. Everybody in Sealy knows that you are a “little funny” if you don’t live for the “All American game”.

 

I was puzzled when Craig made a response associated to my blog yesterday. I mentioned that Jake’s team was “out of the play” because they had lost their game the previous night. Craig responded that he would be taking his familiar place standing at the fence line in left field last night. I was puzzled by the assertion that there was a game. The General had told me it was over because Jake’s team had lost. She got it wrong because she didn’t understand the roster is set up as a double elimination.

 

At any rate, we headed to Cat Spring yesterday around 1:00. As we were leaving the house, the General mentioned that I was going to be late for my 5:00 meeting with a couple that are being married this evening. I was dropping the General off in Cat Spring and then heading for my meeting that was thought to be about an hour away. She asserted that if I hadn’t spent so much time on the computer, I wouldn’t have been late. I knew it would be close, but I thought we had time.

 

Fifteen minutes later the General wanted to know where we were having lunch? Are you kidding me? She already knew we were on a tight time frame and yet she anticipated that we would stop to eat. “She could have been having lunch while I was on the computer”. However, I thought it was in my best interest to keep that thought to myself. See, I really am smarter than you think.

 

Okay, so I threw out the possibility that we could stop by a convenience store and pick up a package of chips. Trust me, WWIII could be started over a statement as simple as that. Fortunately, we averted gunfire, but she made it clear that she had to have lunch. She mentioned a restaurant in a traffic-congested area of SW Austin. I gave that a thumb’s down!

 

In a strategically conciliatory fashion, the General suggested corndogs from Sonic. At least that would be quick. Okay, so we stopped at Sonic between Austin and Bastrop. She suggested I also order “tater-tots”. She didn’t want a whole order, but she’d share with me. “Okay, Okay Whatever – it just had to be quick”.

 

“What are you doing?” she asked as I opened my door and got out of the truck. “Come on”, I said. “We are going to sit outside. The tables are in the shade”. Even my grandkids know, “No one eats in Granddad’s truck.” Of course the General considers my truck community property and she had a very different plan in mind.

 

In my defense, there are times a “Man has to do what a man has to do”. We were NOT eating in my truck. My truck is five years old, has twenty thousand miles on it and it looks brand new. The interior seats are cloth. Had they been leather, I might have seen it differently, but the one thing I knew is that we were NOT eating in the truck.

 

I don’t think the General said: “Thanks, but No Thanks”. She simply said: “I’m not getting out.” I didn’t make a verbal response, but I held my ground. I went to the patio section and ordered four corndogs and an order of tater tots along with drinks and took a seat at one of the tables.

 

I guess hunger got the better part of the General because she did opt to join me before the food arrived. She said something about “this being the last time…”. Fortunately, there was a breeze and the tater tots were good. The corndogs, well, they were filling. Once no longer hungry, the General was in a much better mood. Like I said: “Sometimes a man has to do what a man has to do.”

 

I was able to get back to Sealy, America in time for the 8:00 game last night. Wow! Wow! Wow! All Star Baseball is a lot more exciting than regular baseball. I was amazed at how good the team was. Amazing! I can see how it could get in the blood stream and be an overriding force. Never have I enjoyed a game as much! Of course, it helped that the team my grandson was on was winning.

 

As the game came to a close, folks were looking on their cell phones for the roster of tonight’s time slot for the play schedule. Like I said, ALL STAR playoffs in Sealy are the happening place. Unfortunately, tonight’s game is at 6:00 and I’ll be at a wedding. Had the wedding been in Sealy, I could have opted to skip it even though I was officiating. Everyone would understand. Baseball is King!

 

All My Best!

Don

 

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