Okay, so I’m not exactly burned to a crisp like Wile E. Coyote there, but I definitely look like I’ve been out in the sun for quite a while today. It’s that time of year here in Needles, Calif., – baseball and softball season. The thing about covering both sports for the high school is that it means spending quite a bit of time going back and forth because both the boys and girls teams play at the same time. It makes for a long afternoon – good thing I enjoy it.
It was a long afternoon. I was leaving the office late and I needed to get to the golf course so I could get photos of the high school golfers. From there it was onto softball and baseball. This took several hours but naturally, I had forgotten sunscreen and water. Fortunately the lovely ladies at the baseball concession stand were good enough to let me have a bottled water. I have to admit to being pretty dried up today. Fortunately my arms are fairly used to the sun so they aren’t so bad as is my face – but again, it’s clear I went without sunscreen. The headache I had made it clear I went without much food or water. Brilliant on my part or should I say foolish. For being a girl who lives in the desert, you’d think I know something about dehydration and sunscreen.
But this is also about being a Select-A-Set Thursday. Again, I’ve decided it’s a great idea to stick to baseball. The spring is always the time for baseball. I’m not a big fan but I’ve always loved baseball movies. I enjoy the culture around it and I loved going to games. The atmosphere is fun and if you meet the right types of fans, it’s fun listening to them talk about their favorite players and why. There’s always something to learn and I love that. My dad will begin working the Colorado Rockies games again tomorrow. I love getting to go to the games because he can get tickets, naturally. He gets some pretty good seats. I think baseball I think of legends including Jackie Robinson (legendary for so many reasons), The Babe (or for “The Sandlot” fans out there – The Sultan of Swat, The King of Crash, The Colossus of Clout), Ty Cobb, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra – at least for the older generations. Newer ballplayers may include Ken Griffey, Jr., Cal Ripken and a slew of others. *Note: I refuse to include players who I know were steroid users, but that’s another story. So here goes:
First up – Eddie Vedder’s “All the Way.” A lovely tribute to the Chicago Cubs. Wrigley Field is a legend all its own. As I said, I don’t know much about baseball and even less specifically about the Cubs but I think most true fans can relate to Eddie’s words about being a loyal fan. It’s not always easy being a fan but those few awesome moments can mean more than just a baseball game. Daniel Stern spoke of this in the movie “City Slickers.” His character said he and his father couldn’t always get along but the one unifying thing they had was baseball.
Second up – John Fogerty’s “Centerfield.” I love this song! I think this explains how many people feel this time of year. They’re ready to play, put them in coach!
Finally – I was going to use a different song, but I think there’s no way you can do a baseball select-a-set and not have the classic – “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” This is the 1908 recording of this song and I don’t recall ever hearing the other lyrics before. It’s quite educational and I love hearing old music. It’s like taking a step back in time and with that crackling sound the images of the old days, the fantasy is complete. Love this!
Bonus video: You can’t talk about baseball and not have something referring to “Who’s On First.” Great comedy! Here’s a clip. I hope you get as good of laugh of it as I did.
Don’t forget to watch some awesome baseball movies this spring. If you don’t know any, let me recommend a few (or several ha!):
• The Sandlot
• Bull Durham
• The Rookie
• Rookie of the Year
• Angles in the Outfield (there are multiple versions but I like the one with Danny Glover)
• Field of Dreams
• Bad News Bears (either version)
• Major League
• 42 (I haven’t seen this one but I hear good things about it)
• A League of Their Own
There’s so many others but that’s a good start I think. Play ball!