“People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
~ Rogers Hornsby
I could fling the similes and metaphors but... thats it. Wham! Season over. End of story.
Well it was one heck of a ride while it lasted. 2 and a half months of baseball, hot dogs, peanuts and sodie pop, fans' cheers and applause and the national anthem performed almost every time by someone different and usually pretty darn well.
Sunny days turning into lit up nights with grown men swinging sticks and throwing balls and running in circles. Heroes... and clowns, teachers and students and 3,500 or more friendly neighbors rooting the hometown boys on. Its quite a phenomenon this game of baseball and Eugene is lucky to have grand old Civic Stadium in which to play at our local version of this grand old game.
Thanks to Bob and Bryan Beban for letting me, a stranger to them and really, just some old long-haired guy who virtually just wandered in off the street, come into their home and practice my craft. Special thanks to the Padres' Denis Savage for running that ad on Craig's list. Thanks to Rid and Flo, Vazquez and Jimmy, the boyz in the press box, Steve, Steve, Steve and George, the fans who have wisecracked with me or sat patiently while I pointed my camera their way. Props to you all, it was a hoot.
I admit professional sports had made me a cynic about the whole spectacle of grown men playing games competitively. Heck, I can't afford to take my kids to see a Mariners game or the Seahawks, the Blazers... and if I could... I'm not sure I wanted to support the salaries that have gone beyond real. Celebrities with egos that are uber inflated, that really are no different than any of us, had managed to distance me from them. I remember as a kid how wrapped up I became every year in following the Lakers, checking the box scores, hiding my portable transistor radio under my pillow so I could listen way past my bed time to Chick Hearn painting a mental image of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor faking opposing teams into "the popcorn machine," slaying the evil dragons of the east, the Celtics, the Knickerbockers, the 76ers...
But as money took over sport it seemed to become less fun for me. But... watching Greg Riddock and his crew all these beautiful summer evenings at Civic Stadium... sigh... my faith may be renewed. We'll see.
And on a final good note... to quote the governator... according to Bryan "I'll be back." So hopefully I will see you all again next June for another season of summer spills, thrills and yes, heartaches.
Keep watching the blog here (and don't forget to occasionally stop in and share a donut at my other blog, the Morning Donut. I've got plenty of pictures to share through the coming months and I'll keep posting them. If there is someone on the team who you haven't seen here drop me note and I'll find some pics and post 'em. And... as always, these images are copyrighted © and while I'm more than willing to share I also have to raise my kids. Prints... I will always, gladly, sell, contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy your winter folks! Peace...
... oh yeah... here are some more images, from the last game of the season, enjoy:
Hungry fans line up for pre-game feed and one happy young fan posing with Andy Parrino
One of the little Ems fans' favorite games, the Prince Puckler Ice Cream toss, and the crew that keeps our playing field looking great, Casey, Joe, Dave and Mark
The Ems' fans (with some Salem-Keizer fans mixed in...), Greg Riddoch with the Ems' batboys, Scott and Trevor
Bryan Beban doing the play-by-play on 1120 AM
The guys in the Press box, Steve Mims, Steve Wolf
George McPherson and Steve Brown
And finally... Jose Flores, Ems hitting coach and Greg Riddoch, Ems manager