Tuesday, April 16, 2013

This Girl's Best Friend? [Baseball] Diamonds!

It is time to get outside and play ball!
Diamonds are widely considered a girl’s best friend. As someone often categorized as a girl—at least, by people other than my children—the stereotypes dictate I should become dizzy with excitement when a friend bends her wrist to make the glittering gem on her finger appear obvious. I am supposed to crave the dazzling mineral on Valentine’s Day, anniversaries and other special occasions. 

Truth be told, I really do crave diamonds. It's just not the sparkly kind I covet. While I do have all the appropriate girl parts, I was never that interested in jewelry. Bracelets and rings always got in the way when I was outside climbing trees, building forts, or playing a friendly neighborhood game of baseball. 

Now that’s the kind of diamond that gets me excited—the baseball diamond.  Those so-called precious diamond gemstones are about three billion years old. That's pretty darned old. By comparison, baseball diamonds are practically brand new. The first set of baseball rules was developed less than 170 years ago. I guess you could say I fancy newer things.

As you can see, even with
a glass of wine in hand, I still
take the game quite seriously.
[That's me, in the middle.]
In our neighborhood, the word baseball covered a range of games, including wiffle ball, softball, stick ball, ghost baseball, and actual baseball. When you're 10, there is no better way to spend the day than to divide up into teams for a marathon wiffle ball tournament. Even today, baseball diamonds still top mineral diamonds in my book. As a girl in my 40s, I still cannot think of a better way to spend the afternoon. And the rules have remained consistent since childhood, which is more than I can say for the promises I received with my first diamond ring. 

Wiffle Ball House Rules

1. If you catch the ball on the fly, the batter is out. If you catch it one-handed, you are "DA MAN, OH YEAH!" and someone must buy you a drink. [Note: the type of drink has changed from cola to wine since childhood, but the rule is basically the same.]

2. If you hit the ball past the last line, it is a home run. If you hit the ball in the home run area, but it hits Dad's car, you're automatically out. [Note: this rule was established by my dad the year he bought his yellow Pontiac Starfire. It has since been updated to include all players' cars unless someone establishes their own crappy vehicle as fair game.]

3. If your team is behind by one or two runs, you can go into extra innings so as to have the opportunity to win; but only if the extra innings are approved by all players on both teams. Trash talk is allowed for the purpose of influencing the vote. [Note: the trash talk has become a bit saltier since I was a kid.]

Of course, we also do our best to abide by the official wiffle ball rules. Enough about diamonds, let's PLAY BALL!

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
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