Little League dads tussle over pop fly hit to shallow outfield

Hoover, AL — This past weekend Little League athletes took the field for a cross county rivalry showcasing the talents of Allen’s Furniture Ferrets vs. Sew What Badgers. The Ferrets came into the game with 3 wins on the season, and only 1 loss. The Badgers haven’t faired as well, boasting only a single win, and 2 losses.

“It’s great to see a community come together supporting sportsmanship, encouragement, and sports… under gorgeous weather, too,” Hoover councilman Rich Stocker gleamed.

The first pitch was thrown around 9:03am, with the sun hanging just above the tree line about 50 yards behind the outfield fence, a cool breeze brushing past the excited dugouts on either side of the field.

Both teams are coached well, and it was clear all the players were in good spirits. That is, until the 3rd inning when 2nd baseman for the Badgers approached the plate for his second at bat opportunity. After a strike and a ball, Johnson Miller made contact, sending the ball into the air with the force of an unknown former actor on “Dancing With the Stars.” That is to say, it was a blooper with the possibility of landing just behind the Ferrets shortstop.

The ball was called out after the centerfielder hustled in to make the catch. Across the diamond, some shouting.

A Badger dad: “Nice try on the fly ball, Miller,” loud enough for all to hear.

Another Badger dad: “Well, actually it was more of a pop fly, but you’ll get ’em next time,” also loud enough for the entire gathering to notice.

“You think so, Bill???”

“I do, Doug. Did you see where the ball went?”

“I did. It was a FLY BALL. Clearly.”

“Fly ball. Ha! If you ever played the sport, you’d know that was an easy pop fly.”

“If I ever played the sport? So now you’re the expert in all things Little League?”

“I have 3 trophies in the attic from 1982. How many do you have?”

“Why not 4? Did you hit a pop fly to lose a championship??”

This went on for 2 more innings until players from both teams made their way to the bleachers to separate the feuding men. Bill was sent to his car while Doug was moved to the stands of a different game to think about what he’d done. In 5 minutes, the players would come back to check on them.

Meanwhile, discussion in both dugouts arose on what a pop fly is and what a fly ball is. The Badgers Googled it, messaged it over to their friends on the Ferret side of the field, and the game carried on without incident. After the game, both teams met at Dave & Buster’s for pizza and bowling.

At the time of this report, Bill and Doug have not resolved their differences… and were not seen at Dave & Buster’s.

-Out of the Wilderness News

I’m just standing here watching airplanes…

When I played Little League, I’d say a conservative estimate of all the airplanes I looked at when they flew over the fields was all of them. I remember coaches telling me to pay attention. I was paying attention. To the airplanes. I can’t say what it was that captured my attention so wholly, but they did.

And they still do.

I’ll be standing on the mound about to toss an underhand lob to an eagerly waiting batter in adult league co-ed softball and I hear one. I look up to see the lights flickering overhead.

Or like today when I was mowing my front yard for the first time this year. Standing still, mower running, glaring into the blue sky as a plane that just took off screams overhead.

I don’t know why I do the things I do. Maybe I was a pilot in a previous life. Or an airplane. But one thing is for sure… I WAS PAYING ATTENTION, COACH! Whew, sorry. I’ve had that bottled up for 20 years, I guess.

-Out of the Wilderness