Take Me Out to the Ball Game – Another Perspective

By Virginia Prowell

This year’s Baseball World Series is now over.  The Houston Astros are the winners.
Although I don’t pay much attention to baseball the rest of the year, there is something about the World Series that attracts me.
Baseball brings up memories of years past when I was just out of high school and worked at Willamette Iron and Steel Shipyards.  I was a secretary for Senator Lee Patterson who was the head of the Draft Deferment Department. During those war years, many people took jobs in these plants to help the war effort—among them were five fellows from the Portland Beavers.  They worked in the offices on their off season and were the clowns of the office.

Fortunately, I received free tickets to the games as did all the staff, so I learned to like the game and attended many.  I became interested in the other teams throughout the nation.  New York had two teams, the Giants and the Yankees plus the Brooklyn Dodgers. There were the Red Sox and the White Sox, the Tigers and the Bears.
That was then. Fast forward sixty plus years, and we are watching the San Francisco Giants—I must have missed the move.  The Giants were playing the Texas Rangers—Texas Rangers?  The last time I looked, a Texas Ranger was a law enforcement man who kept Texas safe from all intruders.
Obviously, I’ve not kept up with this All-American game; however, I do enjoy watching it for different reasons.  While my son is interested in runs batted in, balls to the outfield, strike outs and double plays, I find myself less interested about those mundane things. It is the antics of the players that fascinate me.
With a flat screen HD TV, I get to see them up close and personal.  Everything is right there in my face.  It seems like it must be a prerequisite for all players to chew something while they’re playing this game.  Some of them have huge wads of bubble gum they chew on so violently that their baseball hat moves up and down with each movement of their jaw, then, when they strike someone out or make a hit, they blow a gigantic bubble. I guess this is to show their pleasure in their achievement. Not to be out-preformed, there are the tobacco chewers.  Actually, I believe they are more abundant and they’re constantly spitting. It doesn’t matter if they’re up at bat, standing along the dug-out or pitching, they’re all spitting. Even the managers are spitting. This activity conjures up a terrible picture in my mind. The field must be a mass of bacteria laden saliva DNA, mixed with dirt and grass covering the entire baseball diamond!
Another observance I have made is the hair on the players, both on head and face. There are a number of players with long flowing locks that hang beneath their caps and some have bushy hair and the hair continues down their cheek and across their lips.  Some have little goatees, and then there is the fellow with a dark, dark, full mustache and long beard, but when he removes his hat, he sports a Mohawk.
A bearded, spitting player has a problem that he may or may not be aware of; or if he is, he may not give a hoot.  To the HD TV observer, those droplets of saliva clinging to his beard are very unattractive.

I observed the pitcher looking at the catcher with extreme interest.  His eyes were like laser beams pointed toward the player squatted down. One hand of the catcher was gloved and the other he kept putting down between his legs and making gestures that to the uneducated eye, could be construed as obscene; however the pitcher seems to understand his sign language and gives a nod and pitches the ball right at the poor catcher.  If the batter doesn’t hit the ball, that little guy has to be alert and catch the ball before it injures him.
What’s with these strange looking batting hats? If they’re to protect the batter’s head, then why is one ear exposed? This bothered me so much; I went on the internet to ask WHY.  It was a dumb question and I got my answer.  Only one side faces the pitcher—but I thought the pitcher was supposed to throw the ball across the plate—but what do I know?
The crowd watching the game is another area that gets my attention.  Not only are the players spitting on the field, I noticed several men who seemed to be eating pumpkin seeds or some sort of nut that they had to shell in his mouth and then propelled it out onto the field.  I don’t know if they were having a contest or not because the camera didn’t stay on these fellows long enough.
Some of the more enthusiastic fans wear funny looking garbs and beards and they all seem to have bad colds because they have some sort of white towel or hankie that they wave around in the air as they cheer on their team or curse the other one. This strange behavior of grown adults baffles me. If they were teen-agers or children, I’d understand.
Well, like I said, the game is over, and the Houston Astros won, they defeated the LA Dodgers who used to be the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Upon further investigation, I find out  The St. Louis Browns are now the Baltimore Orioles.  The Philadelphia Athletics became the Kansas City A’s but are now the Oakland Athletics and the worst news of all, The Portland Beavers played their last game at the PGE park in Portland. Thank goodness, some things are still the same; The New York Yankees are still THE NEW YORK YANKEES