Thursday, February 15, 2007

"No Ball Playing Allowed"

There used to be a baseball field in my old neighborhood.

It was wedged awkwardly amongst the buildings because it didn’t start out as a ball field. It was a school that burned down long before I was born. It evolved from a pile of rubble to a vacant lot to a beautiful little field with a basketball court in deepest right-center.

It feels like I played a million games there. Winner always held the field and when there were only enough kids for two teams we played one long game. The only rule was that that you had to complete the final inning, which was usually played when it was already too dark to pick up fly balls.

Those fly balls started to clear the fences as we got older and a few even found windows. Then some people started to complain about the noise from our games and the dribbling of basketballs.

The solution was to remove the backstop, plant grass on the infield, rip up the basketball court and put up a sign that said “No Ball Playing Allowed.”

There aren’t many ball players in the neighborhood anymore, but it’s always quiet and no windows get broken.

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