Tuesday, September 2, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Reliving the dream: What more could I ask?

BruceGallaudetW

By
March 10, 2011 |

Thinking back to my Little League days — and looking at pictures of my batting stances of the day — I guess aliens from another planet taught me how to hit.

I remember, too, our mothers dressing us in heavy flannel uniforms with round sponsor patches (about the size of a medium pizza) on the front.

Those stirrups socks they made us wear weighed two pounds each. When I look at my Spalding Alvin Dark-model mitt, I wonder how I ever caught a ball with three fingers, a thumb, no pocket and leather stringing that had to be redone after every practice.

We wore head gear at the plate: two cruddy Formica ear flaps that were no help if you got hit on top of the head.

(I learned not to wear my Little League pins in the front of my hat when Paul Douglas drilled me with his best fastball. The pin stay left a hole in my head that remains in 2011.)

And we all hit with wooden bats!

Keep in mind, my first year of Little League was 1956: not even a decade after American Little League went national. It was only in 1953  (Joey Jay pitching for Milwaukee) that Little League had its first player in Major League Baseball.

Those things that stand out in my mind about baseball 55 years ago are crystal-clear, accurate as a laser and about to be relived in a way of which most of us oldsters can only dream.

Come Saturday, I’ll throw out the first pitch at Davis Little League’s Opening Day ceremonies. NOBODY knows how honored I am by this invitation (which is really a salute to the work done by the ENTIRE Davis Enterprise staff in covering youth sports).

Davis Little League will have its players and coaches parade from Davis High to the baseball complex F Street and Covell Boulevard.

That first year I played, we had a parade in my hometown of Hawthorne. Knowing I’d be riding with my Braves teammates in the back of a new truck from Kenneth Chevrolet gave me goosebumps, a sense of pride — and kept me awake with anticipation the night before.

Lining up on the field with the other 12 teams that April day 150 years ago is ingrained in my psyche.

The highlight of the event? Free hot dogs, great finds in my baseball card pack (Ted Williams AND Joe Adcock), my mom and dad and my best friend and his mom being there, and the Braves winning our first game. (I wouldn’t get my first hit until the last game of the season, off the guy that put the hole in my head, Paul Douglas.)

So now, as Saturday nears, I get to relive the excitement of this 9-year-old’s first uniformed game of baseball. Not just in memory — which is always enough when my thoughts turn to such things — but through a not-so-instant replay of that PERFECT spring day in 1956.

On Saturday, as DLL catcher Jack McAdam awaits my best imitation of Stu Miller, I’ll be looking over his shoulder for a moment … smiling. Because there, behind the backstop, will be Bill Goslow — my best friend all these years. The very guy with whom I played Little League baseball back so many years ago.

We’ve never stopped being there for each other. We’ve never stopped loving the sport, or one another.

His being in town is coincidental … or is it?

Since both my mom and dad and his mom are in a Better Place, it must be that they have new connections that can make coincidences like Goslow being here for my Big Pitch a reality.

Anyway, thanks SO much to Davis Little League for the honor. To Dad: Please don’t tell me I dropped my arm on the throw (I know, and I don’t care anymore. I’m a third baseman). To Goslow, having you here means the world to me — and to celebrate the occasion, we’re going out afterwards to get a couple of packs of baseball cards and a Royal Crown Cola.

What? They don’t make Royal Crown anymore? Trust me: On this particular Saturday, Bill and I will find a bottle of Royal Crown Cola…

While I Have You Here: This first-pitch honor also must go to my Sports Editor Chris Saur, correspondents Will Bellamy, Benjy Egel and Jordan Souza, and our photography staff of Wayne Tilcock, Sue Cockrell and Fred Gladdis.

To my seven colleagues, this strike’s for you.

— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8047. Comment on this column at www.davisenterprise.com

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

.

News

 
Planning begins for Davis Neighbors’ Night Out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

 
Davis not immune: Are you ready for a big quake?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Learn about RNA at Science Café

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Google Glass will be discussed, demonstrated

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Tickets still available for DHS Hall of Fame dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Cuddle up at Project Linus’ meeting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Public opinion sought about Nishi Gateway

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A3

 
International folk dancing offered Sundays

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Got bikes? Donate ‘em!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Rose garden bricks to be dedicated Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

It’s About Time plays Davis Farmers Market’s Picnic in the Park

By Anthony Siino | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Register year-round at Davis Chinese School

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
.

Forum

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

 
Have the facts before you judge

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Tesla has state walking a tightrope

By Tom Elias | From Page: A4

 
Special-needs passengers ignored

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

A cure for Davis’ problems

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

 
A good use for the MRAP

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

Marriage vs. male instinct

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
.

Sports

DHS boys looking to replicate a big cross country performance

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Life without MacDonald starts Friday for DHS

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Clark recalls his hole-in-one — the first at Davis Golf Course

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Fruits of their Labor Day

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggies edge Quinnipiac in overtime

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

Baseball roundup: Aces end River Cats’ season

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B3

 
Sports briefs: Hot Shots basketball tryouts coming up

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Junior Blue Devils strong in home debut, winning 3 on the field

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Elaine Dracia Greenberg

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7