The old ball game

What’s left of the old community ballpark on the road between Queensborough and Cooper. I love that the benches for the long-ago players are still there; you can see one in foreground right.

A big part of a summer vacation in New England is watching or listening to Boston Red Sox games. Raymond and all his brothers and sisters are devoted Red Sox fans, as were their parents before them. We spend many evenings during our Maine vacations gathered around the little TV set watching NESN (the New England Sports Network, owned by the Red Sox), cheering for the team and enjoying Don Orsillo‘s play-by-play and the inimitable Jerry Remy‘s colour commentary. (As I type this, the Red Sox are leading the Texas Rangers 2-1 in the bottom of the third.) I find it so relaxing, especially since one can always read the newspaper or putz around getting dinner ready while the game is on; the slow pace of baseball is perfect for summer afternoons and evenings.

Anyway, baseball also makes me think about the old ball diamond that’s just outside of Queensborough on the road that runs north to the hamlet of Cooper. I stopped and took some pictures of it on a recent visit, when I was driving in on that road.

It looks pretty dilapidated now; the field is full of weeds and the backstop is pretty saggy. But it’s lovely that it’s still there, and maybe someday it can be revived so that friendly games against teams from neighbouring communities can once again be played. I remember my dad playing there once with some lads from Queensborough – Dennis and Ivan Summers were two whom I remember, and as I recall they were both pretty good ball players. I’ve no idea what the occasion was, but it’s one of those hazy golden happy Queensborough memories from way, way back.

When I stopped to take the photos on a warm and sunny early-summer afternoon – a perfect day for baseball! – I found it so touching that the old wooden players’ benches are still there. One could almost imagine the home and away teams (and probably some fans) perched there, cheering on their teammates, yelling “Pitcher’s got a rubber arm!” (I never did figure out what that meant) at the opposing team’s starter (who was doubtless also their reliever and their closer).

It’s a lovely piece of the past. Could baseball come back to Queensborough, I wonder?

10 thoughts on “The old ball game

  1. “…Could baseball come back to Queensborough, I wonder?…”

    I’m a bit pessimistic as the younger folks are typically inside watching TV or playing video games. And, those of our age might find lawn bowling or shuffleboard or watching paint dry to be more our speed…LOL

    • Rage, rage, my friends. Do not go gentle.

      Hey Kath, gonna edit this one too? Editors, eh? Mad with power…

      • As long as people are nice to each other, no editing required! Civility above all. Meanwhile, I hold out hope for a happy medium between the TV-watchin’, video-gamin’ kids these days and the shuffleboarding oldsters that Graham writes about. Surely somebody’s up for a game of softball. How about the Wisnicki boys?

    • Hi Graham–I know we’ve never met (I’m Katherine’s cousin) but I wanted to reassure you that softball and baseball are alive and well in our corner of the world, in the area around Lindsay! Lindsay itself seems to only have adult beer-league ball, for some reason, but my son just finished a lively season in which he had to play for a neighbouring rural community because while ours had two teams, both were full. So there’s hope yet! Like everything, though, it took dedicated volunteers putting in a LOT of time to keep it going when soccer exploded in popularity.

      • OK, I am not much of a sports person, but I am SO there if it comes to volunteer work for making a softball/baseball team happen in Queensborough. Whether it be little kids or grownups, I would be thrilled to see the rejuvenation of that lovely old ball diamond.

      • Well, if you decide to paint the poles for the backstop and benches, I would be happy to watch the paint dry…LOL

  2. Katherine, your picture of the over-grown field of dreams evokes many happy memories of spirited summer-evening softball games against teams from neighbouring towns and hamlets, after which fans and players would storm my mother’s snack bar for pop and ice-cream sodas. Alas, those days are over and the Wyebridge Warriors are no more.

    • Oh! Ice-cream sodas! Were they not the ultimate treat for kids of our generation? What a great memory, Jim. I am horrified to recount that my flavour of choice on the rare occasions when we got ice-cream sodas was Grape Crush. (Grape Crush has disappeared for a reason.) What was I thinking? Clearly root beer (Hires, I think) was the best option. Or Orange Crush. Or bright pink cream soda.

      But aside from all that, I love the image of the post-softball kids storming the snack stand. Those were kind and gentle days, weren’t they? Long live the Wyebridge Warriors!

      Sent from my iPhone

    • And don’t think we didn’t notice when we got in late last night, Graham! We are saving them in the fridge for the next time some benighted soul asks for grape when we ask what flavour people would like their ice-cream sodas to be. Wait a minute… when will THAT be?

      But seriously, they gave us a big chuckle, and I think will be the subject of a future post. Thank you!

      Sent from my iPhone

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