Series help strengthen the game

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 3, 2004

There is a peaceful tranquility to a baseball park long before the game is played, where the only sounds are those of the birds chirping in the outfield. Where the only smells are those of the cool soft grass and red smooth dirt. Long before the first kernel of popcorn is popped or the first hot dog is smothered with mustard and sauerkraut, there is only the smell of the field.

The dirt, that lies ever so quite in the infield, patiently waits to be scratched, shifted and kicked around. The grass, finely trimmed and combed, waits for its afternoon date with the players. The trees, standing tall in the distance with arms stretched, wait to catch that one ball that will soon dance off the sweet spot of the bat and sail just over the fence. And finally the lights, that desperately wait to flicker and spark to eventually shine upon the field allowing all to see this beautiful game.

For that is what the game of baseball is, beautiful. And while this series of articles have confused some and anger many, it has helped. It helped Jimmy Mackin, Lori Collier and Terry Cameron settle their differences. If it’s done nothing else, at least it’s made the game a little more enjoyable for the girls they coach.

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I do not believe that there is a serious problem within Demopolis recreational sports, but I don’t feel that just because this community doesn’t have a problem it should overlook the possibilities of one developing.

Things are good, but they could always be better. If we as citizens of Demopolis continue to overlook the small incidents that occasionally rise within our community, then only more incidents can come of it.

But if we acknowledge the situation and confront it, stand up and say that we don’t tolerate that kind of behavior here, then will begin to see less and less of those innappropiate behaviors arise.

Baseball can be a very competitive game. Having been a little league coach myself, and having played the game throughout many different levels, I’ll admit that I’ve seen it all.

As a coach, I remember winning the city championship. I remember the lost and hopeless look of a team that staggered into the dugout trailing by five runs in the bottom of the last inning. And I remember the six run rally that followed.

I also remember the wonderful thanks I received from parents that season for teaching their kids more than just the game of baseball.

As a player, I remember the lessons, I remember the fun, but most of all I remember the time my coach attacked an umpire in the middle of the game. I was 12.

Both of these events I will never forget, but both changed my life in one way or another.