|Friday, April 8, 2005|
|The Boys Of Summer Are Back|
|The major league and high school baseball seasons are underway! Within a few weeks we'll see the return of amateur or "town team" ball as well.|
Well-known area writer John Dermody of Frazee owed SportsCow.com a small favor, so he offered to supply us with a article for this column.
It was a piece he wrote for the Region 14C/16C amateur baseball tournament program in 1998.
We liked it and wanted to share it with you.
"A wife shows devotion to the sport of baseball"
By Kristal Bawl
Diamond Dust Network
(Note: Recently we sent a Diamond Dust reporter to talk to the wife of an amateur baseball player. We thought a woman’s view of the sport should be heard.)
Kristal: Now, Tiffany, you are the wife of a star player for the Meadowville Muffins, Billy “Bash” Brannigan. Is that correct?
Tiffany: Yes, that’s right. We were married in June – in the evening…after the Muffins had played an afternoon game against the Burning Stump Loggers. Billy hit a home run in the ninth inning for a 5-4 victory.
Kristal: Where did you go for your honeymoon?
Tiffany: We didn’t. We are going after the season is over. Billy promised.
Kristal: Where will you be going?
Tiffany: To the state amateur baseball tournament.
Kristal: You must be a real baseball fan!
Tiffany: Yes, but I’m still gaining knowledge, and Billy says I’m learning pretty fast. He says I know a lot more now than when I took my test.
Kristal: Test? What test?
Tiffany: Well, when we were going together, he and his friends said I had to pass a test showing I knew a lot of stuff about baseball…or at least showed that I had the potential and willingness to learn.
Kristal: That sounds weird. Was the so-called test difficult? Did you answer everything satisfactorily? How many questions did you have to answer to have a passing grade?
Tiffany: Well, they never said. All I know is that I passed enough so we did get married, even though they laughed at some of my answers -- because I didn’t know much about the game at that time.
Kristal: What were some of the questions…and answers?
Tiffany: They asked me to write quick responses to questions such as “What do you think a ‘hit-and-run’ is?” And I said the only one I knew about was when my brother Ernie hit Mrs. Abercrombie’s mail box while backing out of the driveway, then took off without telling her he wrecked it.
Kristal: Well, that’s one kind, I guess. What else did they ask you in the way of questions?
Tiffany: I remember they asked what a “wild pitch” was…and I jokingly told them that that was the first time Billy was awkwardly hitting on me trying to get a date. I thought he was so stupid then. But he was cute.
Kristal: Well, that counts for something. How ‘bout some other examples.
Tiffany: They asked about a “batboy,” what a “’tater” is, and the definition of “high and tight.”
Kristal: What were your answers? Surely you knew that a little kid usually serves as batboy.
Tiffany: I guess I should have remembered that my older brother had done that. But all I could think of for an answer was: “a younger guy that hangs out with Batman in the movies.” And I didn’t think there was anything wrong with saying that a ‘tater was a vegetable that grows in the ground. How was I to know that meant “home run”?
Kristal: What about “high and tight”?
Tiffany: That sort of went along with “keystone combination.”
Kristal: What do you mean?
Tiffany: Well, they laughed when my answer written for “high and tight” was “Uncle Seymour – who is 6-6 and drinks a lot.” Then my reference for “keystone combination” was when I saw my cousins, Tim and Roy, carry cases of Keystone beer out to Uncle Seymour’s pick up.
Kristal: Did you have any other answers that Bash and his friends thought were strange?
Tiffany: They asked what a “passed ball” was.
Kristal: Your response?
Tiffany: I said it was a hairy thing coughed up by my kitten, Burky.
(Editor’s postscript: As the amateur baseball season looms on the horizon, this piece is dedicated with great affection to all the wives, mothers and girl friends who willingly – or even with a little foot-dragging – attend amateur baseball games throughout the area. Their support is appreciated by all of the Boys of Summer.)
John Dermody can be contacted at Diamond Dust Network