The Way We Were

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Last week some friends and I attended my godson’s baseball game (an independent professional team) at Albert Park in San Rafael. Being there was a trip down memory lane. Thirty-one years ago these same friends and I stepped off the adjoining field for the last time after playing fast-pitch softball for 10 years. When we formed the team I was the old lady of the group at age 20. Little did we know then what fun times awaited.

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Sitting there watching Martin play brought back many fond memories. Insert music here: Memories, light the corners of my mind, misty water-colored memories of the way we were. Okay, enough of that. Suffice to say those 10 years together stretched into 40. And we’re still going strong.

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A few of the originals

Our team loved playing softball together and looked forward to it every week of the season. Sometimes Sue and I would drive by early in the day before the evening game just to look at the field. Yes, we were weirdos. Probably still are.

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Get ready, I’m about to brag…our team went 3 entire seasons without a single loss. Nope, that’s not a misprint. Also, we once completed a triple play in the infield. Admittedly we were quite full of ourselves.

My brother Bill coached us during our incredible run. In our 3rd year without a loss, he rented a limo. At that time we played for Peter’s Formal Wear so he wore a tux and got us all bow ties for the game against our rivals and second place team, Flash.

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It’s embarrassing to admit, but Bill recorded the song We Are the Champions onto his Boombox (it was the 70s after all) and we drove up to the ball park blasting that song while hanging out of the sunroof waving to the spectators like we were royalty. I’m sure Flash wanted to shut us out. Or shut us up. Your pick.

A photographer from our local paper came for the big game. We were tied 7-7 in the last inning when Flash scored the winning run. Our reign of 33 straight wins was over. Served us right I suppose. Oh, to be young and cocky.

Now don’t get me wrong. We didn’t let our loss ruin our night. One of the highlights of playing together was partying at Bill’s afterward. Rowdy celebrations often accompanied our wins and losing didn’t seem to burst our bubble. That’s the thing about being with your besties — you have fun no matter what.

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Loss? What loss?

Being back at Albert Park reminded me of teasing Sharon as she ran the bases. She wasn’t what you’d call speedy. In fact, “Get the piano off your back!” was yelled at her more than once. And Pam continued to swing at balls up around her eyes, to the consternation of Dave. Yet she was one of our best hitters.

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Our catcher, Sharon

Before batting, Sue’s good luck charm was to point toward the center field lights and whisper, “See those lights?” Then she’d proceed to hit a home run right under them. Kathy was known to do cartwheels in right field when she was bored. Nancy, one of our pitchers, rarely talked but boy could she throw heat.

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So last week old friends and I watched Martin living his dream next to a field where we once did the same. I laughed until I cried recalling the events of days gone by. The great thing is, here we are many years later continuing to make memories.

And still laughing…always laughing.

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From left: me (shortstop), Sharon (catcher), Pam (center field) and Sue (first base)

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8 thoughts on “The Way We Were

  1. Loved reading this so much, I had to read it twice! Such fun times, wonderful memories of times spent with lifelong and cherished friends. What history we’ve had. Great article Janet. Love you like a sister 😘

    • Such great memories! I actually had forgotten about the bow ties!!! Loved the pic. Thanks for the article!!!

    • We are a lucky group of gals, that’s for sure. Not many experience friendships like we have. You have always felt like my sister from pretty much day one. A rare and wonderful connection.

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