The "Outta Leftfield" Weblog

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ballparks and recreation

Big baseball weekend at our house, which isn’t too much out of the ordinary, really.
Leading off was a college tilt as St. Joseph’s took on Temple in a twinbill Saturday afternoon at Skip Wilson Field on the Temple Ambler campus. It was the first time I had gotten to enjoy a game at that particular field and it’s a pretty nice college ballyard.
This matchup was of particular interest because Father of Blonde Accountant and The Blonde Accountant are both St. Joe’s grads and Pop Pop pitched for the Hawks back in his day. I have no allegiance to either team, but I do enjoy watching college baseball when I get the chance. The accompanying video shows some of those sites and sounds.

St. Joe’s took both games from the Owls, although we could only stay for the first game. Son of Blonde Accountant had his regular season CYO finale back in Montgomeryville so we headed back for that. Tough day for the youngster as he took the collar and his team lost. But the rain held off until after all baseball was done for the day, so that was good.
On Sunday, Son of Blonde Accountant and I took in the Reading Phillies. We got to see some of the young Phillies prospects — like pitchers J.C. Ramirez and Phillippe Aumont, first baseman Matt Rizzotti and shortstop Freddy Galvis — and the rain held off long enough for the home team to secure a victory.
One of the many wonderful things about baseball is the terminology, of which we heard plenty over the weekend, mostly during the college game.
For example, the following phrases can usually only be heard on the ballfield:
— “Lotta hop!” — It means, “Stay aggressive, show a lot of enthusiasm.”
— “Right man, right now” — Refers to having the best hitter at the plate with runners in scoring position able to get a clutch hit and drive in the runs.
— “Hum, baby!” — Usually what is said to a pitcher, as in “Hum that pitch in there” or “throw it hard.”
Then of course, there is the umpire bating. Umpiring at the college level in particular is challenging and one must have a thick skin. There is a lot of chirping going on from the benches. Among my favorite lines over the years tossed at umpires:
— “Hey, poke a hole in that mask!”
— “Hey ump, shake your head, your eyes are stuck!”
When I played, my dad didn’t get after the umpires too much — and neither did I — because we understood that umpires don’t win or lose ballgames. But when Pop did feel the need to sound off, he was relatively nice about it.
“Wake up ump, you’re missing a good game!”
One of my alternative activities over the weekend was to go shopping with The Blonde Accountant for a new kitchen faucet. Although that still has to happen, I believe this weekend qualified as an example of another common phrase: “Can’t beat fun at the old ballpark.”

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Location: Fort Washington, Pennsylvania

Mike Morsch has been executive editor of Montgomery Newspapers since 2003. His award-winning humor column "Outta Leftfield" has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, the Suburban Newspapers of America and the Philadelphia Press Association.

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