Monday, June 26, 2006


The temperature outside or the score of Saturday's game?

The Portland area is meandering through another Heat Wave. Yesterday, the temperature topped out at a record-breaking 100 degrees. And our AC is on the fritz -- I hear the fan and feel air moving, but it isn't cool air. I put a call into Specialty Heating & Cooling, and she assured me that today was booked up, maybe tomorrow... But Jack is pitching tonight!

On Saturday, we headed to Alpenrose for game number 1 of the 2006 District 4 Oregon, 11-12 Honors Tournament. Our opponent: Murrayhill Teal (they have two teams in the tourney, Red and Teal). We were home team, so we provided an announcer in the booth, and that was moi. I was also responsible for the scoreboard. So, I had to watch my husband and son play baseball in complete silence, respectfully announcing each batter, pitching changes, and "Please return all foul balls to the announcer's booth," while pushing buttons for balls/strikes/innings and of course, the score.

Joining me in the booth were the official scorekeepers from each league. We were slightly underground behind chain link fence, so some foul tips would pop back straight at us, making us jump, and crash against the fence making dirt fly all over our table and scorebooks. It was great fun. After announcing the teams, managers, umpire, playing the national anthem, then asking kids to come forward to recite the LL pledge, we started the baseball game!

Murrayhill LL is a very strong program. They have fielded seven teams in the District 4 tournaments (two at each Honors level, and one in each of the three All-Star levels -- 9-10, 10-11, and 11-12). Our team is made up of eleven kids, three from nearby Raleigh Hills LL, with only five kids having majors-level experience. But the SunCreek LL Honors team played hard in the morning sun. The MHLL team had three homers over the fence at Alpenrose main, and two more inside-the-park homers: they bounced so hard off the wooden outfield fence, they rolled into no-man's land between the infield and outfield while the runners raced home.

The final score was 16-1 in four innings. Jack scored the only run. It was a short morning, ending with snow cones, and John asking the kids, "Even though that was a tough loss, would you rather be anyplace else?" The response: "NO" You can't beat a sunny morning at Alpenrose stadium, with announcers, fanfare and baseball.


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