Friday, June 26, 2009

Sunday mornings with the King of Pop

It was, I believe, the summer of 1984 and my buddies and I formed our own softball team, which played doubleheaders every Sunday morning.

We split our first three doubleheaders of the year, then lost our next seven. Do the math. We ended the year with a 14-game losing streak.

Anyway, Joe Kennedy, who played left center field, drove most of us to games in his old VW van that sometimes didn't quite make the trip, requiring some of us to get out and push.

Chris Hahn, who played first base, always brought a boom box along. He was a big Michael Jackson fan and, for some reason, "Beat It" became our theme song.

I remember driving up to a field one Sunday morning, the van choking to a stop as MJ provided the musical backdrop.

The team we were playing that day not only wore pinstripe uniforms, but each player had a team jacket listing their league and state championships.

We were up against it that morning and, not surprisingly, got crushed in the first game and mauled in the second game.

There was a league rule that only one game of the doubleheader could end with the 10-run mercy rule, and we used that in the first game.

So, we had to endure a 23-run loss in Game 2. As if that wasn't bad enough, the guys on the other team ran around the bases singing "Beat It," only they changed the words to "Beat Them."

Ah, good times.

Here's a link to the "Beat It" video.


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