Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's that time of year again ~

Back in high school, when I was just a young, shy, innocent thing (don't laugh, it's true), I was the scorekeeper for Beaverton High School's varsity baseball team. I think that might have been when I first realized the value of connections - the coach, Mike Bubalo, had coached Barry S., a family friend, and when it was discovered one day in sophomore health class and Bub learned of my love of the game, he asked me to do the job. Perfect opportunity - I was new to the public school scene, loved the game, had secret crushes on many of the ball players, and had the time. I was pretty quiet back then, which made Bub happy I'm sure, and I got to spend my afternoons surrounded by the one thing that made me completely happy. It was the first step toward me becoming the me you see today. Well, the good part anyway. Plus, they paid me - $4 an hour in 1980 wasn't too shabby.

I have incredible memories of those days. Beaverton's baseball team was pretty much untouchable in our league and really, the state. We were good. We had incredible talent and serious coaching. We went on road trips for spring break and then, in the summer league, travelled a little bit more. I am not really sure what my mother was thinking, allowing her 15 year old daughter travel with a bunch of hormone-riddled high school boys, but she probably assumed I wouldn't have known what to do with them if they even attempted anything. They really never did (Well, not in the beginning anyway. We definitely had our fun...). I think the first trip me and my co-scorekeeper stayed in a room with one of the boys' mothers. That was the first and last time for that, however. After that, I had gained Bub's trust, though I might not have actually deserved it.

Baseball afforded me great friendships - Lisa L., Jeri T., even Kathy M., all pretty much came as a result of that gig. It gave me some confidence and sort of put me on the high school map - not in any big way, but at least people recognized me. Though there were a couple of girls in my French class that made fun of me and called me a whore, overall it was a completely rewarding experience that I would not change for anything. Sure I learned how to officially keep score, discern one pitch from the other, and figure out important statistics, but over those three years I also learned how to evade authority, party without letting the grownups know, manipulate store clerks into selling a 16 year old beer, and flirt mightily with boys from the other teams that I knew I would never see again. These are all valuable tools that I still use to this day.

It's no secret winter is not good on me, and I can remember way back to 8th and 9th grade, hanging with my friends, bemoaning the rain and darkness and just waiting for baseball to start. That has never changed. I still get the blues in the winter, but there is always hope for me when I know pitchers and catchers are reporting soon. I don't follow the game as much as I used to, it's hard when you don't live in a major league city, but seeing it on TV for the first time of the season, I can almost smell the grass, feel the fresh air, hear the crack of ball on bat... it lifts my spirits and makes me feel whole.

I envy kids with all that in front of them sometimes. And I am eternally grateful for what it has done for me.
I actually have this picture, but I don't have a scanner, so this comes courtesy of Todd F. and HIS scanner.

And yes, I am in this picture.


At 1:15 PM, March 15, 2009, Anonymous Jackie said...

$4 an hour in 1980? You must have felt like a teenage millionaire.

At 2:57 PM, March 15, 2009, Blogger Rosas Clan in Tulum said...

Great pic. I never you loved baseball that much. That is always a good time of year when the season starts!!! The start of good things to come!

At 2:34 PM, March 16, 2009, Blogger My Way said...

Funny how some stuff molds you isn't it? Great story.

And thank you baseball team for making my Joycee so Joyce.


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