This talk of Little League knocks a few dusty memories loose.
I only hit one home run during my Little League tenure. I managed to get ahold of a ball that went to center field and barely cleared the fence. But the bottom line, I had hit a grand slam home run! The only frustrating part of it was that my dad, the manager, was in the dugout trying to control some of the shenanigans of my teammates and he missed the whole thing.
Of course, there was the time I was playing out in center field when balls rarely came that way and so I was looking around, bored. I noticed on the other side of the wire fence that a gopher was sticking his head up every now and then. I thought it would be fun to step on him (as a 9-year-old would think) and so I put my foot through the fence…and got stuck. I had to call time out because I couldn’t get my foot out.
But one of the greatest moments came when I was playing left field. A guy hit a ball into the corner, I ran over grabbed and just whipped around and threw it. I know I was trying for home plate, but I just threw it with all my might. With divine intervention, I’m sure, the ball somehow found it’s way into the catcher’s mitt as he stood at home and tagged the runner trying to score. I still don’t know how that happened.
Other memories range from the foul-ball reward system (bring a foul ball to the snack bar and you got to choose any candy bar you wanted) to a kid named Danny Gans. I don’t remember exactly if he was on one of my teams, or if I played against him, but it was the same Danny Gans who grew up to be one of Las Vegas’s greatest entertainers…until his life suddenly ended a month ago.
Little League can be fun, but also a nightmare. I was lucky enough to have enjoyed the fun edition.