Friday, September 22, 2006

Baseball, Softball, Bulls, Snakes and Athena

Weekend Assignment #130: From Athena, as recapped by her dad:
Tell us if you like or don't like baseball (which is Athena's favorite sport), and (as extra credit) if you played it as a kid (or would play it, if you were a kid now). Write it up in your blog or journal and then come back here and leave a link. Athena thanks you for your cooperation.

Dear Athena,

Yes, I like baseball a lot. It's my favorite sport, too. Really, it's the only sport I like, except maybe ice skating and bowling and archery, and does horseback riding count? That, too.

But do you play baseball, or softball, or both? When I was a kid, girls only played softball. They weren't even allowed in Little League. It didn't matter to me, though. I wasn't any good at softball in school. I just stood around in the outfield until it was time to come back to the fence behind home plate, and wait for my turn to swing at the ball and miss. At least, that's how I remember it. It was a long time ago. Forty years!

Now I live in Tucson, where the University of Arizona softball team is. They win a lot of national championships. I really should go watch them play. And there's a women's pro team here, too, the Arizona Heat.

But look! Now that I'm an old married lady, I have my own fielder's glove and batting gloves, a softball and both a wooden bat and a metal one. I've been to batting cages with my husband John, and I've practiced throwing the ball high in the air and catching it, over at the ballpark. I haven't done it in a long time, though. Look. The fielder's glove is all dusty!

I'm not good at it anyway, but I know I'd get better if I got a lot of practice. But it's hot here most of the time, and I'm always inside and on the computer, and I don't have anyone to teach me to play. I should have paid more attention when I was your age. I really wish now that I'd given gym a chance, instead of just hating it because I wasn't good at most of it.

Mostly, though, I like to watch baseball more than I like to play it. Back in 1993, when I started going to baseball games, the local team was called the Tucson Toros. They were great! We learned the names of all the players, and got their autographs on a baseball and a plastic helmet and on trading cards.

And they won! They were the Pacific Coast League champions that year. So we kept going to watch them play in 1994 and 1995 and 1996, but they weren't champions again. And then everything changed. They went to a different ballpark that was new and farther away, and it was hard to get autographs there. And the team's name was changed, and none of the same players were there any more, and other stuff happened that we didn't like. So we stopped going to the games. We loved the Tucson Toros, with Tuffy the Toro for a mascot, this big friendly bull. But the Tucson Sidewinders are named after a snake, and their mascot is a snake with arms. How dumb is that? But of course a mascot has to have arms, just like the person inside the suit.

I kind of wish we'd gone to some of the games this year, though. The Tucson Sidewinders had the best season in the history of Tucson baseball. They won 91 games during the season, and only lost 53, the best in all of baseball. Then they won every single playoff game, first against the Round Rock Express from Texas and then against the Toledo Mud Hens. The Sidewinders are the champions of all of AAA baseball for 2006, and AAA is just one step below the major leagues. Pretty cool, huh?

But I didn't get to the games, 'cause I couldn't get my husband John to care, and I didn't want to go by myself. So I wrote about them on Wikipedia instead. (Psst! I wrote about you on Wikipedia, too! Not much, just part of a sentence in your dad's entry. He says you should have your own entry, and maybe someday you will. But you have to be what they call "notable" first.)

Your friend (even though you've never met me),
Karen in Tucson

Technorati Tags: , , , ,


Carly said...


This was delightful entry, one of your very best. :) Just really fun!

Barbara said...

Baseball is my favorite sport to. Your entry made my think I should be going to watch our local team play. Yep I think I'll do that. Thanks for the inspiration. Your school experiences with baseball and gym sound a lot like mine.

Becky said...

I've been waiting for Tyler to be old enough to sit through a game. When he is...Commerce Bank Ball Park here we come! We'll root for the Sommerset Patriots. :-)