Monday, October 22, 2012

Say Hey Willie (McCovey)

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Here is the thing about Baseball:  Like many children of the South, it was my first love.  As the only daughter of six children, I never understood that only boys could make a living as a third baseman. Then I grew up and couldn’t play baseball any more because I was too old for little league.  I had to play softball, because that is what girls did.  Once again I was reminded of my gender. What?!
(Worst line to a girl who wants to play:  “Oh, you wanna be third base?  Okay, why don’t you go BE third base?”  This was usually uttered by some idiot who found himself thrown out at first, by the Girl at third.  Her brothers laugh wickedly, knowing better.  Take that, dickhead!).
It kinda wasn’t the same thing, even though it was.  So I chose to be a rebel swimmer that could earn a scholarship to UNC.  I wore leather and black and eye liner to the pool, swam a clean race and got back into my angry clothes.  Looking at Brian Wilson, I completely get it.
I missed the green grass and the smell of leather gloves and the heft of a good bat.  I can still whip my arm sideways to nail the douche at first, but the throw doesn’t have as much speed or power.  I didn’t know about the All American Girls Baseball League, even though my aunt played for the Georgia Peaches.  I didn’t know until the great state of North Carolina told me I couldn’t play any more because I was too old.  Aunt Ruth took me to the crab shack for Hush Puppies and told me stories of playing catcher for the Peaches.    Seems like the girls not playing thing has been around a while.  She and I shared that great deep sorrow until her passing last October.  I hope she is somewhere catching serious strikes.
So forgive me if I chose to watch the Giants take out the Cards instead of Mitt Romney drone on about women in binders.  Either way I figured someone was gonna drop a ball, and I had seen Mitt do it twice already.   I am not someone who whoots and hollers about sports.  But I do love me some ball.  It broke my heart a long time ago, and it comforts me that all about this country that is good, is not lost.