31 August 2011

We Celebrate Boys and Baseball in Billings


The above picture was taken after Ben Askelson's (15) walk-off home run in the bottom of the 7th of the memorable first game between Huntington Beach CA and Billings MT at this year's Little League World Series.

Joe Kusek wrote a nice little article about the Boys of Billings in the Gazette on Wednesday morning reminding us all how important baseball is to us, young and old, and to America, and perhaps to the world. His writing reminds me a little of A. Bartlett Giamatti, erstwhile Professor of English Literature, then President of Yale University, who finally found his true calling when he became President of baseball's National League in in the spring of 1986 and, sadly, died way too soon in the fall, 3 years and 5 months later, in the fall of 1989 as commissioner of Major League Baseball.
"Our character and our culture are reflected in this grand game . . . . it would not be wrong to claim for baseball a capacity to cherish individuality and inspire cohesion in a way that is a hallmark of our loftiest institutions. Nor would it be misguided to think that, however vestigial the remnants of our best hopes, we can still find, if we wish to, a moment called a game when those hopes have life, when each of us, those who are in and those who are out, has a chance to gather, in a green place around home."—Bart Giamatti, A Great and Glorious Game, from an address to the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1985.


There was another article on the celebration for this coming weekend, but they forgot to tell us which day.

The online Gazette came to the rescue and told us it was on Saturday this coming Labor Day Weekend, with a parade starting at the Chamber of Commerce Building, probably around 5pm and working its way north to Dehler Park, via a circle of South Park and then north on S 29th St, cutting over to 28th or Broadway at Montana Ave and then winding up at 27th with a jaunt around the block at Dehler Park. See the map to the left.

Gates open at Dehler at 4:30pm and the motorcade arrive at approximately 5:30pm. It looks like fun. I think someone said there was going to be some fireworks.

Perhaps it would be a good time to Take Time For Paradise, as another of Giamatti's all too slim books recommends.

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