When we were young my brothers, Chris, Frank and I would play baseball in the backyard. We had unwritten ground rules that we played by, like don’t hit the ball to the right of the bay tree. If you hit it to the right of the bay tree then the ball would roll down to the creek and no one wanted to chase it down there.
We lived just north of San Francisco at the time, so we were Giants fans. We were fans of the impossibly high kicking pitcher, Juan Marichal. We were fans of outfielder Willie McCovey. Chris and I were once waiting in line for tickets outside of Candlestick Park, when McCovey hit a towering home run out of the ball park that landed not too far from where we were standing. And of course we were fans of Willie Mays, the Say Hey Kid.
My dad took this footage in the early sixties. I’m the older dark-haired boy who plays pitcher. Chris in the middle was the catcher and Frank the youngest was the batter.
I’ve had the video that was the crux of the above video, for several months. What got me off my can to use it was this week’s news story about Alex Rodriguez walking across the pitcher’s mound. This act created a sport’s media frenzy, that most often called upon Paul Dickson as a commentator. Paul has just written, The Unwritten Rules of Baseball, subtitled, The Etiquette, Conventional Wisdom, and Axiomatic Codes of Our National Pastime. A-Rod’s transgression was too outrageous to even be considered in this tome. Here are a few of the unwritten rules that he did consider:
- 1.7.1. In a Fight, Everyone Must Leave the Bench and the Bullpen Has to Join In
- 1.13.3. In a Blowout Game, Never Swing as Hard as You Can at a 3-0 Pitch
- 5.1.0. In Areas That Have Two Baseball Teams, Any Given Fan Can Only Really Root For One of Them
I rode in the morning, seventeen miles. As I was leaving the neighborhood, the Little Flower Parish parade was getting underway. Unfortunately in our neighborhood, identification with Little Flower equates with opposition to the Maplewood-Richmond Height’s School District, at least at election time.
Our late afternoon turned interesting from a weather point of view. Thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes, oh my! Fortunately this foul weather cleared off in time for Saturday night’s party.
The party was a surprise party for Bill’s seventieth birthday. I had decided to rely upon the iPhone foe its picture-taking capability. Big mistake! I never got a decent picture of Bill. The above posed picture of Anne was the only blog-worthy photo taken. Lesson learned, the iPhone generally takes crap for pictures. Anne of course being the exception. She looks fine anytime.