The foul ball left the bat with a determined route eluding a tall net and posts of various needs, and flew beyond the ballpark with a beeline to my parked car driver’s side windshield. The windshield imploded into a million kernels and flecks of glass into every nook and cranny of the interior. I had just left it at 6 o’clock; when I needed to drive the car at 7 o’clock — it was now “a mission impossible”.
I recall my baseball experiences — girl growing up in the 40’s and 50’s. Hardly any girls owned a ball glove or a bat. I was no exception. Hard ball was not an option even for the boys — softball was the medium.
My first meeting with ball, bat and boys willing to play with girls were my best friend’s cousins. A visit to their aunt and uncle’s house and small yard needed something. We had a pasture to end any boredom they might have had, and it was passage into a game of work-up. Now we girls (add my sister) had no notion of what it was all about. We were sent to the raw edges of the “ball field” to await our turn. Somehow we never “worked up.”
Obviously, the field people eventually became basemen, pitchers and catchers — but not us. I protested. They had good-sounding excuses, ”You have to catch a ball first, to move up.” We tried. Gloveless was not a help even for a “soft” ball. It stung and we let loose — not a catch.
Determined to learn, we watched the boys play ball at school recesses. As girls there was not opportunity — not even in gym class where we asked, “Rover, Rover,come over.” Two teams prevent the opponent’s member to run through braced arms and take one back with them if they succeeded. Eventually, in our school (grades 1 through 8) we had a woman coaching us in basketball, but we never found ourselves on the ball field until high school.
We never played baseball beyond intramural teams at lunch, other than in physical education classes. Our several teams would eventually be an after-school sport; most of us became Girls Athletic Association members. We did get lettered at awards banquets. I lettered three out of four years, and was proud of them. However, to wear lettered high school sweaters at college was considered not to be totally college-spirited. So short-lived was our glory for effort.
My husband and I managed a girls’ baseball summer league. That was a trip! I can’t tell you how often we had to calm the mothers down and remind them of sportsman-like attitudes, “Please?”” Nevertheless, it was great to see girls with team tees, ball gloves and favorite wooden bats taking the field to pitch and catch as well as the boys’ teams.
My car’s attack would never have been by a girl batter. They still play in a lesser field without much spectator seating — far from my apartment house parking lot.