Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Photos for the Off Season

Here's a few photos I snapped with my Holga at a game back in July. I can't remember the particulars of that game, but I remember that it was shortly followed by a burrito the size of my head and two Miller Highlifes for which I paid $1 each (Thanks Alex).

Greg Ondeck
Originally uploaded by scottsnelling.

Colleen Batting
Originally uploaded by scottsnelling.

Colleen Batting2
Originally uploaded by scottsnelling.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sam Sums It Up

Linda and I spent Sunday in Blowing Rock, N.C., a town with the crack-smokingest name I have ever heard. It was the first game I've missed this season, and naturally it was a big one. After all, Steven wore a belt. Also, I received this e-mail from Sam, which made me giggle like the Pillsbury dough boy. (I mean, church softball on Sunday? Isn't that against the Bible?)--Joel

It sounds like you guys had a great time. Awesome. Softball was pretty fun, even though we did not get a great turnout. Basically they took batting practice for an hour before a church group from 5th and Baltic came over and challenged us to a game. There were two really friendly guys, one of whom was an amazing shortstop with a great arm. Unfortunately this guy alone could not off-set the baditude displayed by a 10 year old with an amazing haircut or the 5 or so other kids under 15 who were not totally coordinated. We ended up beating them 15-2 or 4 in 7 innings. Ben and Jesse and maybe Dan Check homered, Jeff got tagged out by a 13 yr old girl and then hit his head on the ground and had to come out for a couple of innings. He got back in there though. All in all, a pretty awesome end to the season.

Mssrs. September

Well, although hearts are heavy at the prospect of the hastening dusk, turning leaves, and the twilight of another Summer of Buttermilk Softball, we have reason to cheer. After a long and bitter feud, the Brooklyn Bodegas and the Blue Jeans on Fire, NYC were finally reconciled and united against one common enemy: this one church on 5th ave. Yes the forces of God took on the forces of beer in Buttermilk's first ever extramural contest and received a sound 15-2 spanking. It was a stellar effort in all aspects of the game from Team Friendship: mammoth dingers, clutch pitching, and sparkling defense were all the orders of the day, and more than one observer could be overheard commenting that it was Buttermilk's most impressive showing yet. Roll the highlights:
--A courageous two-out rally in the bottom of the first.
--David Roth striking out a 12-year-old boy.
--A consecutive homer-triple-homer combo by Dan, Jesse and myself to seal the deal in the bottom of the sixth. Pat yourselves on the back fellas, the Twins are lucky to do that in a week.
--Young Steven looking sharp in both a hat and belt. Still can't understand a word he's saying.
--Samantha heroically battling crutches, a bum knee and her inner demons to manage the squad from the bench.
--Smoking pot in the infield during batting practice. You gotta work hard, you gotta play hard.

We all held our breath when Jeff, brazenly ignoring his younger brother's sage advice against making the final out at third base, took a nasty spill and lay motionless for a little longer than was comfortable. Things got even more hairy when his only response to his friends' entreaties was to smack his lips together and make some gurgling noises. But when Jeff finally got up the energy to sound exasperated, we knew he'd be ok, and that even my bumbling efforts at medical attention would not hinder his recovery. Don't worry, fans: Jeff later returned to make a fine catch in the outfield, and later still to eat hot dogs and laugh at fart jokes in our backyard.
Dudes, my final thoughts are thusly: though we are losing a founding member in our good friend and benefactor Jim, though we did battle with the heat, sparse-ish attendence, and some sharply dressed and unbelievably angry tackle footballers, though we perhaps did not play enough Big Buck Hunter at the bar, this Buttermilk season totally ruled. We played sounder defense, hit for greater power, and drank for cheaper than ever. This young blogger could not ask for finer companions, either on the diamond or in front of the jukebox. Thanks pals.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Around the Horn: Jim

This is Jim's last season in the Buttermilk Softball league. We'll all miss him quite a lot.

What position do you like to play?

Shortstop is definitely the most fun, but given that I'm 35, six foot four, and unable to bend down and touch my toes with any grace, I am generally not allowed to play shortstop. But, due to a strange "1-2" no one wanted to play shortstop for the Jeans this past week and I put on the glove and made a play or two. In fact, I think I got through without an error -- which is definitely not true for the other spots I played -- centerfield, first, third -- positions more logically associated to players with the aforementioned shortcomings. I was especially good versus 10 year olds.

And, really, if pressed, I would have to say that my favorite player of all time is Robin Yount, Hall of Fame shortstop from the Milwaukee Brewers.

Your softball role model:

Robin Yount, Hall of Fame shortstop from the Milwaukee Brewers. My gateway to a life in radio was listening to the Brewers' staticky night games on a transistor radio 700 miles west on a hill in Rapid City, South Dakota. They went to the world series when I was 12.

Thing you like most about Buttermilk Softball:

I've always liked how Brent looks kind of like Robin Yount.

Thing you like least about Buttermilk Softball:

Interference from other sports.

What do you do in the off-season?

Sadly, it's all off-season from here on out as Heather, Jasper, Millie and I are all moving out of New York and heading back to Minnesota. There may be other softball games and other softball leagues, but there's only one Buttermilk Softball.

Complete this sentence: The highlight of my Buttermilk Softball career was when ...

... everything was as perfect as perfect could be. There was a Sunday earlier in the summer when it was sunny but not hot, my new young family was cheering me on from their shady spot under a tree, my friends were all there and happy -- it was a beatiful moment and I could have played inning after inning.