Good to hear you again, Jack.
Credo... I believe in baseball, played in a dusty, summer field with neighborhood friends, no teams, just kids. If you run fast enough and catch a fly ball you get to take the batters place even if you are in right field just enjoying the smell of heat, dragonflys and sweat. It is a victory for all and all for one. The batter gets to walk dejectedly to the field looking as if all knew he was capable of more than flying out. He gets to show off his freshly scraped knee, weeping blood, coagulating with the help of warm dust blowing through the triangular shaped rip in his favorite jeans. As the batter and right fielder exchange cursory congrats "nice catch, butt face" and a lyrical "loser takes the field", a spontainious eruption of laughter ensues.
The game resumes with clench jawed hope that the next batter will strike out. That is the best out of all. The batter that swooshes past three pitches makes the walk to far right field and all of the others get to "move up", eventually facing the holy trinity, his friends, his team mates and opponents, his "up". His time to make his friends wait as he chooses the right bat, (Hey! come onnnn, I gotta be home) knocks the dust of his PF Flyers, (He can't hit it he's got nothin') and takes his best Roger Maris stance.
If he hits, home runs or strikes out, it is of no importance
because this game, his game, played in the sun, with his friends, in the summer, in the dirt with no agents, no lawsuits, no strikes, no parents, no hundred dollar shoes, no umpires, only friends, laughter, smooth wooden bats, favorite gloves and a horsehide orb. It was a game, just a game with no winners no losers and it seemed like it would never end. How could we have let a game such as this end?
I still have my glove. It is worn and cracked with the ravages of time. It sits in the top of my closet waiting to play. Maybe next summer.