Has-beens tell many tales and practically all bend the truth - but funny - no one seems to
Still, at a recent gathering of our has-been crowd I overheard a conversation between two spouses of
has-beens that went like this:
Spouse 1 (speaking low): "They tell these same stories every year."
Spouse 2 (eyes rolling): "I know - don't they realize?"
We do realize - sort of - but doesn't everyone just love to hear these stories? And don't the
listeners think that we, the tellers, are just a bit more special (read, cool) after hearing these tales? Don't they?
Into the Breach
Hands Like Henry
Oafs Go Deep
filespec is D:/Hosting/7405525/html/hasbeens/Georgia Baseball.html
Oft Told [Tall] Tales
Got a tall tale to tell? -
Please email any and all.
"Georgia Baseball" by Milton
We never heard of Georgia Baseball before. It turned out to be a new bit of entertainment created by Coach Cooley to break the endless monotony
of preseason two-a-days. Three blocking dummies served as bases, and a scrimmage vest marked home plate. A length of
2x4 made an adequate bat,
and the pigskin itself was our ball. Some six or seven of us were sent in to bat, and all other linemen were in the
field to defend. Coach Mike himself was the pitcher. I took the 2x4 and stepped up as lead-off batter, as he explained
the rules; sorta like baseball, but with the additional feature that any base runner could be tackled could be tackled
by the defense. Upon hearing this and rapidly calculating that at such odds my survival quotient was minuscule, I quickly backed away from the
plate and began negotiating for a rule change. My suggestion was that each base runner should be given a Blocker to
run interference, as this might provide some small hope to an otherwise futile endeavor. Coach Mike agreed, doubtless because this modification
geometrically increased the likelihood of spectacular collisions, of which he was so fond.
Someone was designated as my blocker (cannot recall who), and I stepped back to the plate. In came the pitch, swat
went the 2x4, and off we took toward 1st Base. Blocker did his job, taking out a defender or two, and I bounced off
another, tumbling into the bag ahead of the throw - a solid base hit! While the next batter stepped in, I assessed
what lay ahead. Second base was deep in enemy territory, and the surrounded by a swarm of oafs, all potential tacklers.
I didn't see much hope. And, sure enough, both blocker and I were buried under a mass of humanity far short
of the bag while trying to advance on the next batter's ground ball. The hitter was also eliminated - a Georgia
Baseball double play!
About this time Coach Leck ambles by, eyes the carnage, and mentally calculates the extrapolated impact of further
mayhem upon his already rapidly depleting ranks. He calmly announces that it is time to rotate to our next drill,
and so we move on to another activity. We will never play Georgia Baseball again. And so, after many years even yet I
have some basis to believe that my 1.000 average (a perfect one for one) remains the mark to shoot for among aspiring
practitioners of this most unusual version of America's National Pastime. And those of us that were there know
that the Ken Burns PBS special failed to capture at least one interesting interlude in the history of Baseball.
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