Saturday, July 28, 2007

Baseball is Full of Stories

On our recent road trip south on I-5 from Portland to San Francisco, we stopped at a McDonald's in Cottage Grove. We had rallied early morning and drove awhile before breakfast to get some miles under us. We have stopped at this McDonald's many times before, but it was remodeled! and so deluxe! with comfy chairs and Dippin' Dots! and they put the cream and sweetner in your coffee for you! :) But the best part was the conversation...

A group of retired guys was having their "Friday coffee meeting" in a booth right by the door, just like hundreds of retired guys at restaurants all over the country. Their topics ranged from Dolly Parton ("you know, she is so wonderful and no divorces or drugs...") to baseball. Our ears perked up.

My husband couldn't help himself as we were leaving, "Were you guys talking about the Dodgers? We're Giants fans, so we hate the Dodgers." Good thing this wasn't a gang of Jets or Sharks, or we might have been choreographed to early deaths... The trimmest, tannest man stands up, "yeah, Willie Mays was the best." And the awkward pause turns into a lengthy, friendly discussion. Turns out this nice, knowledgeable fellow is the local high school baseball coach and avid baseball collector. "Hey, you should come by the house and see the old mitts I have." We actually thought about it for a minute. "We'd love to, but we have to hit the road." We exchanged cards -- he doesn't have an email addy, so I doubt he's reading this. Someday soon, we'll call on our way through and check out his collection. What a perfect way to start our break from baseball :)

I was thinking about our new friend this morning when I read this article in the Metro section of the Oregonian newspaper: "Portland's Own Cinderfella Story" He would love to coach these boys, I thought. And what about the guys who does volunteer to take on the "leftovers." No, this isn't a Little League story, but is a baseball story and who else can relate the "leftovers" winning the state tournament? Perfectly appropriate for this time of the summer, as State Tournaments are finishing up and the elite of the elite begin moving on to Regional tournaments...


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