Friday, April 1, 2011

JDaddy Could Play Some Scrub

JDaddy's baseball memories start with riding a bicycle to the baseball field with my glove threaded through the handlebars. Instead of choosing sides , in our town we played the game of "Scrub". Scrub was pretty simple. Three kids were "in town" (at bat for you non scrubbers), and they stayed in town until someone got them out. If the batter struck out or was thrown out at any base, he went out to the outfield and the catcher took his place as a batter while everyone rotated spots. Everyone played every position and if there were extra players they took positions as 4th outfielder, 5th outfielder and so on.One caveat to the rule was if you were able to catch a ball in the air, you and the batter traded places and nobody rotated.

We spent hours playing baseball and many of us who began playing scrub as 7 and 8 years old played together through high school. In many cases these games of scrub were the only times we got to bat in any type of game situation.

We have to remember that this was a time before there was a league for each age. A time when Little League teams were made up of 8-12 yr olds and you could bet as an 8 year old, playing time was just a rumor. But we came to practice every day, we learned the game of baseball and we learned to appreciate the game fully. Then one day we woke up as the older boys on the team and got the chance to represent our little town.

We loved playing baseball and were pretty good at it. When we reached high school our baseball team, made up of mainly those of us who played scrub in back yards, playgrounds and the ball park did make our high school playoffs. But it was the hot summer days of playing in jeans and T-shirts, broken bats that we had taped up and hand full of small town kids pretending to be Mantle, Musial and Ford that bring back my fondest baseball memories.