Latest update on
October 3, 2000
Previous Casey at the Bat
Circa 1979, Salem, OregonFor a guy named after baseball's all-time greatest hitter, I sure was awful at the game. Of course it doesn't help when you're scared of the ball.
I really enjoyed playing "hotbox" as a kid (using a tennis ball) where a runner races back and forth between two bases while the fielders try to tag him out. And I've very fond memories of Dad pitching dozens of tennis balls at me so I could practice my hitting. But none of this led to any talent whatsoever at the game for me. I had fairly good power if I managed to connect with the ball, but my batting average was easily sub-.200 and I recall only getting one extra base hit (a double) in the two years I played.
Poor Dadwho played American Legion ball, four years in college, etc.had to console himself with Bret's superior baseball talents. I dropped off of this dismal little team fourth grade team (see picture below) about half way through the season.
I played again in sixth grade, and though I wasn't much better and didn't contribute much to team, we finished tied for first in the league. On the eve of the playoff, our catcher put his hand through a plate glass window, and we had to forfeit the game. The league named both teams as winners, but sent the other squad to the city tournament. Fair enough. We wouldn't have beaten them anyway.
Life in the minor, minor leagues: I'm in front, second from the left, caught in the act of saying "cheese." The only other interesting bit is that the turbaned kid, back row third from right if you include the coach, played with his turban on and a hat on top due to his family's religious convictions. He was also our best pitcher.
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