Missing the Game We Love

Socially-distanced batting practice at the Field of Dreams (photo courtesy of Mundane Photo Company)

Socially-distanced batting practice at the Field of Dreams (photo courtesy of Mundane Photo Company)

Larry Wolfe

We miss it. We really miss it. It’s inherently true that you don’t know how much you’ll miss something until it’s gone. At press time, our softball program has been closed down for three months and counting, but there was hope that the program could begin to restart in mid-June with a possible summer league starting in July. The Field of Dreams was recently opened for “socially-distanced” batting practice, but there were no real games, no teams, no scores, and no batting statistics to write about. Rather than skip an article, I decided to ask our members what they missed most during this shutdown.

Almost all the respondents said it was the camaraderie with the other players that they missed the most. They missed the razzing, the joking around, the “trash talk,” the politically-incorrect statements and opinions, the “fake news,” the crazy and sometimes amazing plays, and the crazier stories.

Here’s a sampling of comments (some paraphrased or shortened):

Cyndy Hilby, head scorekeeper and member of the Lady Sluggers: “I miss baking cookies for the guys. I also miss knowing what day of the week it is. With my scoring duties on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, I could keep track of what day it was!”

Many of the guys: “I miss Cyndy’s cookies!”

Larry Kaufmann: “Even more than the zany, unimaginable plays that we see every day, I miss the ‘Odd Couple’ in the ‘box seats’ (you know who you are!) and my frosty Mountain Dews!”

Dennis Bernaiche: “I’ve had time to reflect on my 15 years playing here and got to thinking about all the guys I’ve played with. I miss them and wonder what happened to all of them.”

Jim Entwistle: “I miss trying to come in first place but pretending I don’t care!”

Ken Brenden: “I miss the opportunity to laugh, share our exaggerations about the plays we made, and being amazed at the abilities these guys have at our ages.”

Dick Bleich: “I miss a great way of celebrating being alive.”

Jesse Washington: “I miss our crazy jokes and stories, the exercise, the base hits, the many errors, and the call of ‘runner blue’!”

Kim Whitney: “I miss not having an opinion on anything since Big Al hasn’t been around to tell me what I should think!”

Jeff Jay: “I miss the competition, the laughs, and watching all the old guys having so much fun!”

Mike Lebet: “I miss being out on the field and being grateful and thankful for being able to play another day.”

Terry Zeltinger: “I miss the free words of wisdom and all the controversial comments. Plus, I’m tired of watching the Corn Hole Championships on the Sports Channel!”

Rosemarie (Mrs. Dave) Rinaldo: “I miss the few hours of peace and quiet away from the Energizer Bunny (aka Dave) while he’s dragging the field and hanging with the guys.”

Bob Montelione: “I soooo miss the game. What better way to spend time at this point in our senior lives!”

There are many more comments I’d like to share, but I’m at my “word limit.” To be continued…