‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Baseball 101

Vacuuming in the dark
Vacuuming in the dark
There's only one thing that I like
And that is vacuuming in the dark

I am sitting in my livingroom with just the light from my computer and the chicken's heat lamp (yes, it is June and I have a heat lamp in my livingroom) and I am vacuuming. Or at least Jessica, the robot vacuum, is vacuuming. It's really very gratifying watching her little green "clean" light zig zag across the floor.

And so now if you happen to like They Might Be Giants you too are humming the song.

You're welcome.

When I married Chris the only sport he watched was chess. That is who I married and I never imagined he would be replaced by a nearly identical version that is rabid about baseball.

But it happened and he is fond of watching games and dropping little phrases like "runners at the corners" and pronouncing RBI's as ribbies instead of saying Are Bee Eyes like the rest of us. He never does anything halfway, that guy.

And so when he landed the Cape Cod Baseball League as a client he was, well, euphoric. He gets to do all his weird high tech stuff but he gets to talk baseball with people who actually know what's going on. And he's shared some things with me which I found interesting.

Fun Fact #1: One out of six professional ball players played for the Cape Cod Baseball League.

That's actually the only fun fact I know. But I have learned that not only are the players strutting their stuff for the scouts, everyone else is too. Except, hopefully, Chris.

Because apparently this is how you become an umpire or a broadcaster or an announcer or a peanut salesman. I was chatting with one of the broadcasters yesterday, who patiently explained it all to me.

And it makes sense, because they don't just put you on the radio or national television because you know someone who knows someone who knows someone.

And the more I learn about this summer baseball league business (which I know nothing about) the more it reminds me of something I do know a bit about: summer music festivals.

You see, I grew up in New England in the Rockies - with a displaced Bostonian for a mother who was bound and determined to recreate her east coast upbringing in a small Colorado mountain town.

One of the things she was involved in was the Colorado Philharmonic, a summer orchestra made up of music students from all over the country. The competition was rigorous and they were all very, very good.

And sturdy. They played three concerts a week, with morning and evening rehearsals whenever there was no concert. Except on Mondays, when they collapsed. There were completely different programs for each concert, so by the end of the summer they had performed (let's say it was 10 weeks) 30 concerts - somewhere around 120 pieces of music.

That's completely insane.

What's also completely insane is that we went to nearly all of them. I know my classical music, boy howdy.


It was a pretty cool childhood. And I have often wished I could recreate it for my kids. Okay, they have a beach and we had rodeos, which are smelly and dusty. But still.

Mom, if you're reading this, stop here.

There is no music festival in my town. But there is a summer baseball team. And although I have never done it, I hear it's really fun to go to the games. And if it's not the same content, it's the same spirit - college-age people who are working really hard toward what they want to accomplish, and having a blast while they're doing it.

And my kids do get plenty of music. Just this morning my brother-in-law was playing guitar on the front porch.

That, my friends, is something I never had growing up.

There's only one thing that I know how to do well
And I've often been told that you only can do
What you know how to do well
And that's be you,
Be what you're like,
Be like yourself,
And so I'm having a wonderful time
But I'd rather be whistling in the dark
Whistling in the dark
Whistling in the dark
Whistling in the dark
Whistling in the dark
Whistling in the dark
Whistling, whistling
Whistling in the dark
-TMBG

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