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June 22, 2022 - 05:00
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In the early 1950’s, I played Little League baseball. We had a pretty good team. Our coach, Mr. Jones, told me to charge the ball. I was a bit freaked about this strategy but, I went along with coach Jones. And, it turned out, I could do this. See, if you charge the ball, you get there quicker, which means, you got an extra moment or so, you don’t have to hurry the throw. So, I started working on my throw, my balance, thinking all the time, you gotta make a good, accurate throw to first.

See, one day, for ex ample, we were playing against a pretty good team. Our pitcher, Rudy Johnson, suddenly he was gesturing for me to come to the pitcher’s mound. He had been striking everybody out but then, he made some bad pitches, and walked a couple of guys.

Rudy told me, he had hurt his arm. And, he said his control was lousy. “ I’m gonna throw this guy low and inside,” said Rudy. “He’ll bounce it to you, ok?”

“I got him,” I said. Rudy wound up, big and slow and, the batter swung and there went the ball, skittering down the third base line. I was already sliding over, getting position. I grabbed the ball and made an accurate throw to first. The guy was out by half a mile.

The rest of the game was simple. Our relief pitchers, the Galvan brothers, Joe and Leo, gave us the finishing touch.

Memories. Yeah, you do that a lot, when you get old.

Mike Olive

A small ranch outside Bandera, Texas.