Re: Goin' way back--while we're all fighting so...
Great topic wheelhouse,
I have sour memories of my first game....The Old Metropolitan Stadium in Minn/St.Paul. 1972, Twins vs. Orioles. We lived in a small town in NW Iowa, about 3-4 hours from the Twin Cities, which was a world away with our economic circumstances. My Godmother drug my brother and I along with several of their neices and nephews for a road trip.
My mom dressed me up in my best 'public' clothes, some sharp plaid polyester slacks and a plaid shirt. The car trip alone was a big treat, probably my first memory of one, this was a big deal.
I remember feeling like I was king of the world. My dad had told us about this Harmon Killebrew guy, he was the man. Well, it just happened to be Harmon Killebrew bat day, and I now I knew I was in heaven.
I don't remember one detail about the game, but I do remember squeezing that bat all game like it was solid gold. What would my dad say?....wait til my friends see this!
As kids can do, by brother and I started horsing around at one point, and then, the world stood still. Simultaneously, we both dropped our bats. One feature of the old Met was real metal bleachers in the outfield, and they stretched to the sky. Well, we were pretty high up. We watched and listed as the bats rocketed down, boucing around like pinballs. Panic set in, it was the end of the game and people were hustling about. We raced to the bottom, only to find no remnants of the bat. "Too bad" we were told and shuffled into the car for the long trip home.
Two years ago we were cleaning out my mom's house after her death. A long, arduous task with my other siblings. She had the ability to clean house when someone was coming over by throwing everything into a bag or a box, and then into a closet.
In one of those bags was a great memory. My Godmother had given her a picture of the big day in the Twin cities. There I was in all my glory. With the field and blue sky behind me, my plaid polyester slacks and shirt actually looked good. In my grip was that Harmon Killebrew autographed bat, my knuckles white as could be. I didn't know I possessed that great of a smile. It was a lifetime of baseball and family memories bound up, and my brother were able to laugh about it, with only a little bitterness.
I'm taking my 10 yr old son to a AAA game tonight in Portland, I hope it can instill in him some memories that he'll recall later in life... without having to lose a bat. (And no, he won't be wearing plaid polyester!)
“Our team is a team full of fighters. They never panic. We don't necessarily get all the hits we want all the time, but we find a way to win.” – Dusty Baker