Monday, May 25, 2009

Save the Fat Bat For When You Need It

Great little article in the PD this morning about a much beloved place in my hometown of Medina. As a kid, there was nothing like a big back yard; where you could step out baselines and measure up a diamond for a hard-nosed wiffle ball game. It was (and probably remains) every little leaguer's dream to build their very own 'field of dreams' (overused, I know, but so apt!).

Typically, this fantasy ends when: A. Mom gets home and is irate that you have pulled all manner of junk out of the garage and have now festooned it around the back yard in the general approximation of an outfield wall. Or B., the size isn't right, there's a tree planted just in the way of second, and the kids grow up before it ever gets built. Enter Jim McDermott. In 1986, he and his young family moved to Medina, a few blocks south of the St. Francis Church, and promptly became the most popular family in the neighborhood with construction of their very own wiffle ball field. I mean a full-time, Medina Monster in left, scoreboard on the wall, fence lined, honest-to-God wiffleball mecca.
Katie and I have enjoyed more than a few Memorial and Labor Day's basking in the summer sun and diving erratically for wind whipped wiffleballs; laughing off scrapes and bruises, but celebrating, really celebrating, when our team won. In the article, Jim mentions the record year of 18 five inning games played on a single day. I have to say I'm proud to have played in at least 5 of those that day. Kids, adults, everyone's in on the fun, but the level of competition is always high; those who are playing are in it to win it. One thing that still rankles me is that though I've banged more than one double off the netting in left, I've still yet to knock one out. One of these days...

And Dave, who has been written of previously in this space, deserves a mention on this Memorial Day as well. Though not military personnel, he serves this country through good will and diplomacy in the Peace Corps. Here's looking forward to a homecoming game... and homer number one...

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