LET’S PLAY BALL
By Malcolm Callister
“BUILD IT, AND HE (THEY) WILL COME.” SAID KEVIN COSTNER IN THE 1989 MOVIE “FIELD OF DREAMS.”
At LaPenita de Jaltemba, RV park, Nayarit, Mexico, the staff, and volunteers took up this challenge.
These volunteers started work on a Saturday morning, in the tropical heat, with palms swaying gently in the breeze. By lunchtime, there were two ball diamonds on the sandy beach above the reach of the Pacific Ocean surf. In this soft golden sand, the bases were appropriately spaced, suitable for teams of seniors. The teams consist of retirees. RVer’s who come together for this annual, January, beach baseball tournament. For this tournament, each base was marked with an old green plastic chair. This chair is also used for sitting on when the runner finally makes it to the base.
With umpires selected, and the rules almost clear, the shout went up, “Let’s Play Ball.” Four teams of nine players were identified. Each player was given colored neck pendants that also had the number of their batting order. These pendants were a necessity, individual players tended to forget their team color or their order of play.
After a grueling first round of play, the two winning and two losing teams were to play each other. The second round played in this tropical paradise would determine the overall winner. The winning team would receive the coveted Hershey trophy.
After two hours of play, with a Boston Red Sox scout posing as a surfer in the bay, and with Mr. Sol., controlling the beer and the hotdogs, the white team was declared the winner.
Then the dispute over the winning team started. The white team, the argument went, could not be the legal winner.
It was rumored that Linda of the white team was a “Ringer” (a professional ballplayer). Linda had been educated in England and trained in that British traditional girls’ game of Rounders. Rounders is a similar ball game, first played by Queen Elizabeth I, of England, in the 16th century, with her women courtiers.
The umpires met and issued their unchallengeable ruling on the subject of “Ringers.” Being a retiree, all past training and professional records are canceled, Linda would NOT be considered a “Ringer.”
The Hershey trophy was formally handed to the white team.
With this ruling on Ringer’s in place, team captains are actively searching for players for next year’s tournament.
Hopeful applicants can submit applications through the LaPenita RV Park website www.lapenitarvpark.com