“Hey Jason! Go play right outfield!”
I don’t know how long baseball games last, but I can tell you how long I imagined they lasted as a child. I had to play baseball because I was growing up in Tennessee and all my friends were.
I learned some things though.
Outfield is a lonely field. It is a awful place they send the guys not fast enough for first and not cool enough to pitch. You only got to catch if you were friends with the pitcher, which made sense really… there was like a structure here. I didn’t fit in again.
There were things to do in the field though, like finding four leaf clovers! That’s not a bad usuage of your time and they bring you luck and an opportunity to brag to Caleb on the bench about how you found one and are now luckier than him. There were cars passing by, I can see them now, because we played on a single field in the neighborhood by our school. There weren’t fancy sports complexes yet for us midtown boys, but we’d all heard the rumors about the sportsplex being built in Germantown. Those burb boys always have the best stuff.
But what more do you need than a brown patch of dirty, some gloves, a ball… did you bring the ball Tim?
And the bat which never seems to be your turn enough…
We’d spend days broiling because it is the humid south, but that never stopped us from playing. When we graduated to the need to use a cup I was done. It is bad enough you want me to bake in the sun, but now I felt like my nuts were broiling too. I hated it.
I stopped playing baseball in elementary school. All I have now are memories of hot days and getting hit in the face with the ball once. That’s one of those memories you never lose.