Exactly Who Started This National Pastime, Anyway?
It was a classic matchup: Cameron Winery versus Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. While we perfected “Hit and Run;” they focused on “Three Strikes and You’re Out!” I am speaking, of course, of Little League Baseball. This past summer I completed one of the great rites of American society: coaching a Little League team. This is not something that one freely chooses to do, as in waking up one morning and saying “I would like to be a Little League Coach.” Rather, it chooses you. Most likely it is a kid (i.e., your kid) looking at you with imploring eyes. And the next thing you know, you are the coach of 15 enthusiastic, energetic and completely uncoachable eight-year-olds.
Having grown up a fan of organized professional baseball, I knew that one of the great lessons of this noble game was “non-verbal communication.” The Cameron Whiners were able to devise a number of such messages with ease: For example, jumping up and down while holding one’s crotch means that a substitute player needs to come into the game immediately; removing one’s glove and staring into the finger-holes means that the pitcher needs to get one over the plate. Once the ball is actually hit, activation of the parents begins. If on defense, each parent is responsible for activating his/her progeny, as in “Get the ball! Get the ball!” and “Throw the ball! Throw the ball!” On offense, the shrieking changes to “Run! Run! Run! Run!”-usually regardless of where the ball is hit or whether it is hit at all. The children are amazingly silent 4iring most of the contest as the parents move to occupy a niche normally reserved for those under ten.
The most important position on the team is “batter.” In every kid’s mind, this is the essence of the game: getting to hold a big stick and swing it at things while simultaneously achieving parental approval.
After our game with MADD, which we necessarily needed to lose, we discussed that elusive term “sportsmanship,” Cheering for the other team is a fairly difficult concept and one which we as adults have rarely mastered. In fact, after the players have endured hearing their parents yelling at each other or at the umpire over the intricacies of a particular play, perhaps the most enduring lesson comes to light, namely that the world is a very confusing place.
Begin by selecting a morsel below or from the sandy column just to the right -->
On a sunlit day in September, the Cameron Winery Vinfolk gathered in our bucolic vineyard to share stories, break bread and explore the nuances of Pinot noir…There’s More... >
Did you know that you can give us money? And then we can do whatever we want with it? Man, is this a great country, or what?!There’s More... >
A Year in the Making is a Cameron Winery propaganda film that condenses 12 months in the Clos Electrique vineyard into 12 minutes. Produced by Jeremy Fenske and Elaine Skinner, it stars the grand crew and farm animals of vintage 2012.There’s More... >