Baseball memories come back with summer

Baseball memories come back with summer by Bob Karolevitz I have heard lots of moaning and groaning about the hot weather we've had this summer.

Shucks, we played baseball in high temperatures like that � in wool suits, too. Of course, we sweated a lot, but then that was all part of the game.

I remember when the Yankton Little Giants got new red uniforms. The players perspired profusely in their first outing in that splendid toggery; that's when the dye in the suits began to run.

It wasn't until after the fray ��when they took the uniforms off � that the guys discovered that they were crimson from shoulder to knee caps.

And the colorful suits looked so good on the field, too!

Actually I enjoy reminiscing about baseball like that. Nostalgically I recall the Dirty Thirties when we groveled in the dust and thought it was fun.

That's when I had dreams of becoming a big leaguer � before I learned to my dismay how slow I really was. For instance, I couldn't steal a base unless I sneaked up on it in the still of the night.

And our coach added insult to injury when he said he could time me with a calendar in a hundred-yard dash.

I couldn't help it if my feet grew faster than my body. I was called "L" then, because that's how I looked in the old days.

Lots of memories came tumbling back. There was the time when we played a game at a county fair in a slight drizzle. I was pitching, and the ball got wet.

It hefted like a small shot put, but I kept throwing it anyhow. The result, of course, was an arm which dangled down around my ankles. At least I thought it did.

After that, I played first base like my father had done on the old Rosebud nine. Only I couldn't throw to third on the fly without it hurting, and so my playing days were over.

I still carry my mitt in the car, though, thinking they might ask me to take up a position in a choose-up game. (The kids today laugh at my glove because it's half the size of theirs.)

I could still pitch, I thought, although my fast ball barely gets across the plate now. People said that the vendors toss a bag of peanuts faster than my best throw.

They know how to hurt a guy!

Needless to say, I'm even too old for fat men's ball, but I can dream, can't I?

Unfortunately, my baseball today is watching the Minnesota Twins play on television � if I can find the remote.

As an old sportswriter, I can no longer rattle off the names of all the players, because I don't speak Spanish. Heck, I don't even know the names of all of the teams now, unless they show up on TV.

And so I finally decided that you can't turn back the calendar � which reminds me I'm still mad at the coach for telling me he'd use one to time me in a hundred-yard dash.

© 2004 Robert F. Karolevitz

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