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A Different Time

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  • Cannonball
    replied
    When I started this thread about a different time, I had no idea I'd be getting a phone call about one of my former players. Many of you know my coaching history. I started in that "clinic" I spoke of. I did so at the age of 13 and back then, you could work those types of jobs under certain government programs for the very poor. From my work there, I was asked by our recreation director, Mr. Clapsaddle, to coach a 9-10U team that didn't have a coach. I was only 3 years older than they were. Still, I did so. As some of you might also recall, my daughter now plays on her travelball team with the daughter of one of those players. Again, we were so close in age. Another one of those players just called to tell me that one of those players from that team just passed away. In my mind, most of them have been forzen in time from when I last coached them when they were 17. Scott had just had an article written in the area he lives in about his life struggles and becoming an ordained minister. All of those guys grew up in the same neighborhood I did and to be honest, baseball was one of the few positive things in their lives. It is so hard to accept that this has happened now just when he got his life in order. Then again, maybe that was a part of the plan. (I'll leave it at that.)

    After hearing the bad news, the caller then told me about what has transpired in his life. When he was 18, he played for another coach. This player was a stud pitcher for me. However, I really didn't let anyone be our #1. I typically threw 2 pitchers every game. We had 2 games each week and then one week where we had 3. That week made it necessary to develop more than one or two pitchers. So, it made sense to me to get 4 pitchers ready. This player was pitching and after throwing a pitch didn't feel comfortable. He called the new coach out and told him something was wrong and that he needed to be taken out. He was left in. That was the end of his baseball career. He finished the game but could no longer lift his arm up. I feel terrible about that. It would not have happened if I had coached one more year but I had my life to live as well. Well, I know this is rambling. I apologize. Remember, Indian Ball? Tennis ball in the school yard where you taped the strike zone on the wall and played on asphalt.

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  • johnlanza
    replied
    Originally posted by CircleChange11 View Post
    Another BIG thing kids are missing out on is collecting baseball cards. I can recall sitting down for hours just looking at and sorting baseball cards, you know before they really started to acquire monetary value.
    I go back a little farther than Ricky Henderson cards. Back in 1973, I remember a friend of mine offered to give me probably 500 baseball cards for free. These cards were from that year. Man I felt like I had just been given a million dollars! You know what I did with those cards? Sorted by teams, and then scribbled out names on some cards and made them represent some other players so I could create lineups of actual starters. Then I would play a game where I hit the cards across my room...such and such distance was a single, etc. Obviously no value for those cards on the traders market, but I still have them boxed up.

    When I got into strato-matic, I kept a scorebook for all the games I played. I loved that game. Don't know if I want to introduce my son to it though. I'll get hooked all over again

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  • CircleChange11
    replied
    Originally posted by shake-n-bake View Post
    Yeah, kids have it made today. I tell my son that there was no SportsCenter when I was his age or cable sports, or any league.com. Blows him away. Especially when he asks how I knew so much about sports and I tell him I read the sports section of the newspaper. If you didn't watch Tony Kubek and Joe Garigiola, then you didn't see any baseball on TV for another week.

    Kid has balls just for pitching practice. Not too new, but not too old. When it's too wet, we go to the college and play on one of their ultra nice turf fields. Has game shoes and practice shoes and turf shoes and running shoes and training shoes and shoes he wears to the field or the gym before even puts any of them on. Has a gym membership even though he has a weight lifting class and football speed and agility classes too at school. Can't miss a workout. And since the gym's only open until 10, he needs gym equipment in his room which is bigger than the first apartment I had - definitely has more and nicer furniture.

    Got the same hard @ss dad that I had though.
    Sometimes I think that kids are missing out by having too much.

    As a kid we lived in a really big house and had a decent sized yard. So hitting one "on the roof" was a big deal. The house was brick so it didn;t matter if tennis balls or wiffle balls hit the house (aside from the windows). We'd/I'd throw up the ball and hit it repeatedly with designated areas in the yard being "singles" "doubles" "outs" etc ... and imitating countless hitters batting stances.

    I recall going through the sporting news and their boxscores and figuring up all sorts of stats. This is where I was a pain the arse at school. I recall one time I had the stats page out and I was calculating the Cardinal players' batting average for the week versus R and L handed pitchers. The teacher told me to put it away and stop playing around and to finish my work. We were doing long division at the time, which I was applying at a higher level.

    I suppose it's just the nature of the beast. The aspect that I see that gets missed is kids being able to communicate and problem solve with each other. Coming up with rules or modifications for rules, or creatively using available space, were things we had top do continually any time a new player was added, a new area was found, etc. Figuring out fair ways to handle disagreements or plays too close to call were one of the great activities and life lessons we experienced. From this point on I wonder if my son will ever be involved in a baseball activity that doesn't involve a certified umpire?

    I remember having tons of baseball as a kid. You could find them everywhere, and we collected them. I was smart enough to figure out that the more buckets you had, the less time you spent picking em up (my dad's motto was "You hit em, you get em"). Now, used baseballs are what? 100 bucks a bucket?

    Another BIG thing kids are missing out on is collecting baseball cards. I can recall sitting down for hours just looking at and sorting baseball cards, you know before they really started to acquire monetary value. By the time I was in high school, collecting baseball cards had become the kids version of investing in stocks. Was Jack McDowell going to be a good enough pitcher to trade an Eric Davis roookie for 20 Jack McDowell rookie cards?

    Baseball cards cost as much as a candy bar, not as much as 3 candy bars. Kids collected baseball cards, not adults looking to rip off kids. I still have 1,000 Rickey Henderson cards (sold everything else), and my kid just thinks that's amazing. He collects cards to a degree, but nowhere near how we did ... where we'd mow a yard and take all 5 to 10 bucks and spend it on baseball cards. That was a pretty cool time period.

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  • songtitle
    replied
    shake, nice job

    Leave a comment:


  • shake-n-bake
    replied
    Yeah, kids have it made today. I tell my son that there was no SportsCenter when I was his age or cable sports, or any league.com. Blows him away. Especially when he asks how I knew so much about sports and I tell him I read the sports section of the newspaper. If you didn't watch Tony Kubek and Joe Garigiola, then you didn't see any baseball on TV for another week.

    Kid has balls just for pitching practice. Not too new, but not too old. When it's too wet, we go to the college and play on one of their ultra nice turf fields. Has game shoes and practice shoes and turf shoes and running shoes and training shoes and shoes he wears to the field or the gym before even puts any of them on. Has a gym membership even though he has a weight lifting class and football speed and agility classes too at school. Can't miss a workout. And since the gym's only open until 10, he needs gym equipment in his room which is bigger than the first apartment I had - definitely has more and nicer furniture.

    Got the same hard @ss dad that I had though.

    Leave a comment:


  • Roothog66
    replied
    Originally posted by tg643 View Post
    Strat O matic will now (seven years ago at least) make a personalized card based on provided data. My son and his friends did it when they were twelve.
    We made our own. I just introduced my son and our team to Pursue the Pennant/Dynasty Baseball. On Friday nights there are 6-9 team members that sleep over at my house and they haven't broken out a video game in three weeks. I need to order new cards, though. They are now in awe of players they knew nothing about like Ryne Sandburg, George Brett, and Eddie Murray.

    Leave a comment:


  • Roothog66
    replied
    Originally posted by JRH11 View Post
    In my neighborhood, there was abject panic when the baseball went into the weeds. :crossfingers:
    I can remember times when we played softball instead because it was the only ball we had. Getting a new ball was a BIG deal. Now I've got buckets full of them.

    Leave a comment:


  • shake-n-bake
    replied
    The timing must be just right on this topic.

    Played long toss this afternoon === threw BP === hit some infield === brought the football, so we ran / threw some routes for awhile === stopped at the park on the way home and shot hoops. I love being a kid! Where's the Advil???

    Leave a comment:


  • omg
    replied
    Originally posted by tg643 View Post
    Strat O matic will now (seven years ago at least) make a personalized card based on provided data. My son and his friends did it when they were twelve.
    Oh no. I'll skip that-I probably was a 4 in my running.

    Leave a comment:


  • tg643
    replied
    Originally posted by omg View Post
    Yes we used to play Strat-o-Matic. Think was, a couple of brothers came up with Strat-o-Matic cards for players in our own 14-15 year old league.. I was rated a one for fielding but a four for running. Pissed me off. A lot of other guys got pissed off, too. Of course, the brothers rated themselves all one and twos.
    Strat O matic will now (seven years ago at least) make a personalized card based on provided data. My son and his friends did it when they were twelve.

    Leave a comment:


  • omg
    replied
    [QUOTE=tg643;2013528\ Then we played Strat O Matic Baseball until it was time for practice or game. [/QUOTE]

    Yes we used to play Strat-o-Matic. Think was, a couple of brothers came up with Strat-o-Matic cards for players in our own 14-15 year old league.. I was rated a one for fielding but a four for running. Pissed me off. A lot of other guys got pissed off, too. Of course, the brothers rated themselves all one and twos.

    Leave a comment:


  • chicagowhitesox1173
    replied
    Originally posted by bbrages View Post
    We're low-tech here...

    I have a Commodore 64 emulator (VICE) on my laptop and I play Micro League with my son periodically. He loves it. We played just last week... for some reason, he wanted to be the 1955 Senators. The emulator lets you run the game at 2x speed... which is a great improvement.

    My son is also in a Strat-O-Matic league. I don't play that game.
    Yeah I remember it used to be really slow at my house but my buddy had a faster computer and we could finish the games in like 15 minutes.

    Yeah the 55 Senators were one of the teams the back of the box glorified as a fun type of matchup. The 27 Yankees vs the 55 Senators.

    Leave a comment:


  • bbrages
    replied
    We're low-tech here...

    I have a Commodore 64 emulator (VICE) on my laptop and I play Micro League with my son periodically. He loves it. We played just last week... for some reason, he wanted to be the 1955 Senators. The emulator lets you run the game at 2x speed... which is a great improvement.

    My son is also in a Strat-O-Matic league. I don't play that game.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stampede
    replied
    Originally posted by CircleChange11 View Post
    We used rattlesnakes for the bases and the broken glass was for the foul lines.

    We also lit the infield on fire to increase mental toughness.

    The bats all had nails sticking through the handles. No matter.
    Now that's some funny stuff! Your nails joke did remind me that I had a wood bat that was glued and screwed back together. It seems like it lasted quite a while like that. Hey, is that what they mean when they say "he hit it right on the screws"? ha ha

    Leave a comment:


  • tg643
    replied
    Originally posted by shake-n-bake View Post
    All you guys talk in the past tense. I never stopped playing all the time.

    Heck, I'm in hog heaven right now....HS baseball season is over and 2 weeks until summer ball. My boys have more time to play with me. I count down the time until they get out of school. Help them bust out their homework. Get them out of their chores with mom. And, we play some ball.
    I'm lost. My daughter is done playing college softball. My son is a redshirt this year. He'll be playing in a collegiate summer league 300 miles away. If my son played catch with me now it would be a courtesy as a dad-son moment. If he unleashed the ball he might kill me. My 5'10" daughter is years away from having her 6'4" lefthanded son.

    Leave a comment:

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