It’s the year 2022 and just like that, 60 years have passed. Recently I was transported to my old ball field at Haman Elementary in Santa Clara. I grew up playing my favorite game, Little League Baseball. Today the weather nearly reached 100 degrees. The green grass of yesteryear had now turned brown from this year’s drought. Back then we were trying to be like our hero, Willie Mays. Today my grandson was pretending to be Brandon Crawford, both from our favorite team, The San Francisco Giants. Seeing kids playing on the same field brought back a lot of memories. Before, I stood on the field and listened to The Star Spangled Banner with my baseball cap over my chest. Today in the bleachers, I am reminiscing as I stand at attention but today it’s my Veteran’s cap that I hold close to my heart. I listen as they recite the Little League Pledge. In short, “But win or lose I will always do my best.” The time when I last played here is long passed but the feeling remains the same as I listen to the kids reciting their pledge. Then as the saying goes, “Play Ball!”
Hard to resist is a great memory from the past which included a hot dog and a cold soda to start the game; today it’s a linguica sandwich and a cold water. Our family and friends are now watching kids play at The Steve Carli Field, a different name but same location where my sons and I played—watching the same six inning game years later. The excitement of playing the best teams from local neighboring cities is what makes the game fun to watch. Today on this hot summer day, my grandson Miles is pitching for the All Star team where his teammates, also his classmates, are playing with the same goal, to play their best and win. Today they won.
Perhaps 60 year’s from now, they’ll reflect on the game they love, as they watch their own grandkids play. Today’s reflection is a feel good memory as I listen to the umpire call strikes and outs during the game. I smile as the crowd shouts encouragement to both sides as the game progresses. One team won today but hopefully they will know that no one really lost. They are able to participate in America’s great past time, baseball. Amazingly after 60 years, the best part of the game is the feeling that I could still taste the Double Bubble gum, even though I’m not blowing bubbles anymore. Thank you to my grandson Miles and his teammates for letting me, in spirit, run the baseball paths with them.
Mission City Voices