Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sounds of aluminum foil

Having read North of 50's post on the Sounds of Summer, I was called upon to have my own reflections concerning those sounds of our youth. Specifically, sounds embedded in the memory banks of my esteemed brother.

In those formative years, North was my baseball idol. He didn't know that and will likely get a big head over this. I'll keep a pin handy to pop that balloon. Back in the day, as it were, he was a notch above others on the baseball field. We played in back yards, on diamonds and nearly anywhere we could imagine a game. On the diamond, he was simply better than all the other kids our age. He started (and finished) as a pitcher and it took many years before hitters caught up with his arm. Alas, when they did, that was it.

When we weren't on the diamond, we made up games in the back yard. We played whiffle-ball on grass with a lawn chair as a catcher and the garage and house as the "green monsters" of our day. As a Yankee fan, I'm sure he is not happy with that reference. But going into the 'way-back machine' we played in a dirt yard with plastic bats and when we ran out of balls, we stole Sainted Mother's aluminum foil and wadded it up tightly. It did a passable job.

Back then, North knew virtually every lineup in the majors and knew if the batter was a righty or a lefty. We would play for hours in the back going through lineup after lineup. I always suspected that when it came down to a critical bat by myself, he would tell me the batter was left-handed which would eventually lead to me striking out.

Now, I've never accused him of cheating, I'm just here to set the record straight.


  1. Being a lefty, the kids have asked why I bat as a right hander. The answer? North taught me (and you!) to bat, and as he was a righty, he taught us to bat that way. I remember trying to bat lefty but we all got confused. I have tried in later years to bat lefty, but I don't follow the ball well. Lately, with the addition of one near and one far contacts, I tend to lose the ball in the transition from one lens to the other. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

  2. You played field hockey Sis, it ain't the same!

    As to Beloved Younger Brother's point, I never did that deliberately.

    As far as I can recall.

    He never seemed to be bothered when I had to bat left-handed!

    I was never sure how long it took Sainted Mother to realize why her aluminum foil kept disappearing.

    This is also the first time Baby Bro has publicly admitted having a sports hero. I think I may have been both his first and his last.

    I thank him for that, but I was secretly jealous that he could throw a real knuckleball.

  3. Too bad you don't have your own baseball card. You could autograph it for me...your number one fan!

  4. Ahh, Grasshopper, therein lies the error of your ways.

    Actually, I have TWO baseball cards featuring myself as the subject of the photo. They were made for me by our occasional golf partner Ken, who is still teaching at our alma mater, back when I was doing the Instructional Baseball League coaching at St. Pius. He made them in the style of my favorite Topps year, 1960.

    Now, digging them out is another thing...

  5. In field hockey you can only hit the ball right handed due to the other side of the stick being curved. However, by that time, I was in high school!