To the Editor:
Les, I couldn’t agree with you more about letting kids playing softball/baseball just be plain fun. Reference your article of June 11 in the Southern. In my little town in Central Illinois, we had three “fields” we played ball in. One, was downtown in an open lot between two businesses. A home run involved hitting the ball onto the roof of a building or into main street watching the ball roll under the wheels of a car or truck. There was a retired gentleman who had a little grocery by the open lot which we could load up on Pepsi cola and peanuts for sustenance. Another field found us using the backyard of one of our friends. At his site we had more room to play but a homerun to right field inevitably wound up in a row of fast-growing corn … tough for the right fielder! A third location found us playing at the school yard which was adjacent to a cemetery. A left field hit would find the left fielder looking behind gravestones for the missing ball.
We all hit well according to the players … maybe stretching the truth a little. But we all had fun and made up if we had a major disagreement to a “bad call” by a volunteer umpire. We grew up as friends and played in plenty of school softball, football and basketball games. Those were good times. Thanks for reminding me about those days.
Perry H. Patterson