When I was a kid, becoming a sports junkie – Little League now and then
A Column by Jim Dasios—Part one
It fully took hold about the age of twelve, my addiction to sports. Though maybe not as magical as it once was, there’s lava left. Lava waiting for the right time to spew forward. I know it’s early, but the Orioles look real good. It’s been a while since their last world series appearance. I think since 1985 when they beat the Phillies that year.
With three channels on the old black and white tv, you didn’t get much. What was televised was on Saturdays and Sundays, that just happened to be my dad’s days off. He preferred the Dean Martin show, Lawrence Welk, and 60 Minutes. Anything but sports. To this day, I can sing along to all of the dean’s songs, and Bobby and Sissy got down on the dance floor. Dad didn’t care for sports but he loved to gamble. I became his young bookie, arranging bets with a few of my teachers, and others I knew in the adult world. Dad became more interested in football, and I caught a few games.
When I was a kid there was a choice of at least three different newspapers you could have delivered to you. Now there’s rune. I read the sports section of the spokesman review everyday. With money I’d pick up here and there (mainly off dad’s bedroom dresser) I’d buy sports books, digests, and magazines. I’d learn everything I could about my teams, my enemies too. Warman’s Drug and Coffman’s Store always carried sports magazines, there were so many back in the 1970s.
My favorite sport rotated with the seasons, in the fall it was football, and John Unitas in his black high tops. In the winter it was Earl “the pearl” Monroe and basketball. In the summer it was baseball with Jim Palmer on the mound. Baseball was different, it was the first organized sport we participated in, with football and basketball you had to wait till Junior High to play. Little League started at age six. Now, I’ve been out of touch with the Little League scene for decades, is it even called that anymore? I’m not talking about sanctioned Little League like in bigger communities, with a chance to go to the Little League world series. I’m talking about small town baseball. I’ve seen parts of a number of minor league games over the years. I say minor league because these kids appeared to be around six to eight years of age.
Things sure have changed since I was a kid. I’ve seen teams play with twelve players on the field, I’ve seen adults on the field while the game was going on, or they weren’t wearing gloves. It seemed they wandered around to keep the kids awake. I’ve yet to see a kid pitch, I’ve seen adults pitch, sometimes from a closer distance and even throwing underhand. I’ve seen games where tee’s were your only option when at bat, I’ve seen a game with a no strikeout policy, and no score was kept. Chatter was killed off some time ago. I suppose anyone caught offering up some chatter would have to spend time in an anti-bullying therapy safe house, do they have those? Just too many adults around slowing down the game, and making it really boring. I’m all for helping kids that need it, but I’m not big on making them helpless. There’s enough of that going on.
Then my thoughts turn to the future. I envisioned 6×6 satin bases, bases that serve primarily as a nap station, just in case the little one tires easily. Instead of only using a bat to hit the ball you can throw it, or spin a wheel that tells you how you’re at batting. Turns out instead of running the bases themselves a parent would be on hand to pull them around the bases in a rickshaw.
Not satisfied with the present or future, I go back to a better place, the past. Back when I was a kid. Next week will be part two, Little League when I was a kid.
Overhauling the Voting Protocol
I could only laugh—ruefully—upon reading about the misguided effort to overhaul voting protocol in Lincoln County. I’m reminded of the worn cliché, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” I must say I’ve grown tired of election deniers and the paranoia they foment. And when I read Commissioner Josh Letcher’s analogy of voting machines and airplanes that “fell out of the sky,” I could only compare it to the fabled children’s story featuring Chicken Little.
I was compelled to research some actual statistics in the U.S. regarding the risk of flying. As for commercial carriers, there have been zero deaths since 2020. The odds of dying on a commercial flight between 2012 and 2016 were one in 3.37 billion. There are 40,000 plus flights daily carrying 2.6 million passengers. As for all kinds of aircraft there were less than 1200 accidents in 2021 resulting in less than 400 deaths, down from 1800 accidents and more than 500 deaths in 2000. Dr. Arnold Bennett, some kind of an egg-headed airplane expert from MIT says: “If you took one domestic flight a day, every day of the week, odds are you could go 36,000 years before you’d die in a plane crash.” Of course, all these stats might be phony, the result of a deep state hoax.
So, back to Chicken Little. It seems that Chicken Little was walking through the forest one day when an acorn fell on her head. Assuming that the sky was falling she rushed to inform the king and, on her way, swept Henny Penny, Goosey Loosey, and Lucky Ducky up in her paranoia. Enter Foxy Loxy who listens to the ridiculous story, lures the four misguided fowl to his den and they were never seen again. Quoting from the analysis I read in Wikipedia: “The term ‘Chicken Little’ has become almost synonymous with alarmism, with the term being used to describe people who needlessly stoke fear among people…We might summarize the moral messages of the story as follows: 1) don’t form incorrect conclusions from insufficient data; 2) don’t stoke fear in others without good cause to do so; and 3) don’t take other people’s word for things, especially when those other people are making extraordinary claims (which should require extraordinary evidence).” I can’t help but recall the plight of the alleged MAGA election fixers down in Georgia. Perhaps we should pay more attention to MLCGA (Make Lincoln County Great Again) adherents right here in our own back yard.
Submitted by Gary Montgomery