Yesterday, I teased a story on Twitter that included my annual neighborhood baseball game, fireworks, the police, runaway horses, and an all-around great time, so here’s that story.
I grew up in a relatively isolated neighborhood of about 30 houses. And among those 30 houses lived (literally) 20+ kids right around my age. So, as you can probably imagine, we spent most of our time outside on our block playing every outdoor game that has ever been invented (including some we made up on our own).
But the game we played the most was (what we called) “court baseball.”
Essentially court baseball is just a regular old game of baseball played on the street with a sewer for second base and old mitts on the corners. We played probably 20 or 30 games a summer with the same exact kids for maybe 10 years in a row, and it was one of the highlights of our childhood. Since then, we’ve all grown up and moved away, but we always make time to come back to that block for one game every year.
Yesterday was that game.
This year, we decided to go all out and shoot some fireworks off during our opening ceremony (which, yes, featured a ceremonial first pitch and the national anthem). Were we expecting the cops to be called on account of the fireworks? … Yeah, sure. Maybe even, of course. But were we expecting what they told us when they showed up? Not quite.
Apparently, the old farm behind our “playing field” has a bunch of horses who were carriage-ing folks around when the fireworks went off and they … weren’t fans of the sudden and loud banging sounds. The horses got spooked and supposedly ran off-course, barreling into the woods, carrying their passengers along for the ride.
We didn’t see any of this, mind you, but we were fine taking the officer and park ranger’s word for it.
Eventually, after some serious apologies and explanations (and more apologies and more explanations), we took our ticket, waived the officer and ranger goodbye, and started back up with the top of the 4th.
As for the game itself, my team won by a final score of 10-9, though the other guys had the tying run at third base with two outs in the top of the ninth. It was a good game (and one that was immediately followed up with some burgers, brats, and hotdogs), if not a crazy one.
So in the end, did we regret sending unsuspecting horse-back riders on an adventure into the woods? I suppose so. But would we take any of it back in exchange for one of the most memorable games of court baseball in our block’s history? Nah.
Until next year, guys.