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Hit me Baby

- One more Time -

By Jay KantorPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 4 min read
21
Original 'Schtick' Art © KantorKreationsKolections

Intimidation: Bat-Tap Muddy Spikes

- THE HITMEN - Slow-Slow Pitch Softball -

OUR team was a mishmash-mix of regular guys from the ‘hood, biz and, of course, the poker-group-boys. Some of the Hitmen are not with us anymore. But, it’s fun to recall such a special time. A simpler goof-off time. Lucky-Lar, my Twin. Terry Brenner, College roommate. We all had 'I knew you when' type chums!

— Batter-Batta' Swing! Ur Outta There! —

Here are a few Standouts:

Mart – Since our future Wives were best friends, we’d go watch him collect wooden-bench-splinters at his Loyola Law School football games.

Lucky-Lar – An extremely opinionated-successful CPA was forever arguing calls; a worthy 3rd baseman, sometimes.

Jay – I wasn’t a very good hitter. It seems it wasn’t diagnosed that I needed glasses until I was almost (40). It seriously wasn’t cool to wear horn-rimmed glasses back then at all; nerd alert. I’m certain there was a bit of vanity in all that 'Blind-&-Beautiful-Schtick'. I wasn’t much of a fielder either; I’m ok with that. So, I was relegated to playing 1st base. The least 'vulnerable' position. I guess they could have fired me from my pro-bono fielding position. There were certainly lots of people sitting on the sidelines anxious to become 'Hitmen.'

Terry – The President of a huge corporation. His Twin Brother, Toby worked in his warehouse – no Nepotism there. My true friends, Terry & Toby, relaxed and just happy to be there. No on-field biz talk allowed.

Ray 'Sonny' Nash - Actually played baseball in the Army for (4) years during the Vietnam war. I Didn’t even know they had a baseball team. Wonder what his Billet-Job Category Designation was during the baseball off-season? He had a great ‘tude. While playing 2nd base for the 'Hitmen' he would say to me. “Hey, Jay, if you don’t catch the pop-up, no biggie, you ain’t getting paid for it anyway.”

I was recently willed the photo (above) of the 'Hitman' shirt-jersey that once hung from Ray’s home trophy wall, encased within the same frame as a proud photo tribute to his pristine lavender ’57 Cadillac-Coupe’ - 'Maybelline.'

Most of us just goofed-off; winning-losing not important. Although, Certified-Tally-Upper, Lucky-Lar could probably fill you in on each game; for sure. And, big-brain Mart, could certainly 'schpiel' you on his legal analysis of each and every pitch. But, we had 'breathers' from our every day mostly Desk 'Jock~y' j.o.b.'s and responsibilities – A fun exercise-leg-stretch – Better than just a Poke-in-the Computers-Eye.

Each game the Girlfriends screamed excitedly in the stands. Once Married, not so much; don’t really know why? Bff Kristen Balyeat; aka "TheBleacherMom" has noticed this phenomenon, if you will, as well while cheering @ her Hubbies games.

Team after Game Nosh:

Winners choice: Closest TAP-beer-joint with a slice of Pizza. Losers can’t be choosers: Bagel/with a schmear at the 'Deli Stop' Deli. Mart had invested in this business. So we would go there after the games; don’t recall him ever giving us food discounts though.

Traditional Award Ceremonies:

Lar was the self appointed Ad-Lib 'Hitman' awards Master of Ceremony. As the M.C. he would pass out the tiny engraved plastic trophies as follows; You know the kind.

Mart – As a stylish-southpaw-swinger emulated after the Yankee slugger Reggie Jackson. He of course denies this. Although his vanity-tags on his car read "Yanke." In L.A. the fancy car got 'egged' often; don’t know by whom? His trophy was imprinted “Mr. Annual 500 batting average, most (4) pitch walks given, with the bases loaded.”

Mart still plays in the Sunday Lawyers League. Though I suppose the other team doesn’t offer him fearful (4) pitch walks anymore. But, still with the in your face SpikeSlides.

Dennis – May have been an original incentive for the 'Newbies new in-fielders shift-rule.' Example: A right handed batter who always hit to the right side. Even after Mart, with his always 'Helpful' 'tude, as the self anoited behind the screen coach, screamed “to spread it around.”

Twins – Terry & Toby: Both received the best ‘tude awards. No agenda there - Didn’t even know we had THAT award.

Jay – Annual unanimous dual-recipient award:

“MOST Defensive Player” – “MOST Offensive Player”

Lar – “Ump..R/U Blind!” Team unauthorized-arguing award - annually.

Baseball Fond Memory:

When in Little League we were actually 'prized' for extra-base hits; a true incentive! After the game we were given 'Reward-Vouchers' for the following:

Double = (6) Pack of Pepsi bottles. When I rarely earned these I hid them under my bed so Lucky-Lar wouldn’t get at them; I know sibling rivalry. I could probably make the case that Lucky found the hiding place since a few bottles were always missing!

Triple = Boiled Dodger-Dogs. Mom & Sis-Vicki worked the 'Nosh-Hut'. While sister, Betty, announced the games on the booth loudspeaker; truly a family affair.

Homer = Kiss from the Pre-Pubescent Cheerleader -Nah-

Jay Kantor, Chatsworth, California

'Senior' Vocal Author - Vocal Village Community -

Family
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About the Creator

Jay Kantor

Retired: Write for "The Kids Someday"

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Comments (19)

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  • Brenda Fluharty3 days ago

    You are an amazing artist and story telling. I loved this brings me back to my childhood days.

  • Take me back, take me back to the days I miss so much. There was 6 of us girls who are still friends today, those that are still with us. We decided we wanted to play baseball so we conned one of the guys at the bar I worked at to sponsor us. My best friend and I created our t-shirts and we called ourselves Freddie's Foxes! After all we had to give our sponsor something, needless to say we never became pros but boy did we have fun..I I played 3rd base and shortstop for around 8 years and loved it. sure miss those days.

  • Cathy holmes23 days ago

    Another piece. I especially love the awards. This is hilarious, "“MOST Defensive Player” – “MOST Offensive Player”

  • Heather Hublerabout a month ago

    I enjoyed this so much!!! I was picturing each 'character' in action :) My oldest played ball for 12 years so I saw a lot of concession stands with my youngest 3, hahaha :)

  • Lamar Wigginsabout a month ago

    Lol, I could envision every part of this. I bet you stole bases too. 'The traditional award ceremonies' was priceless. You got the award that makes me proud! 😆😆😆🤩 Great times, J-bud. Triple thanks for sharing!

  • Caroline Cravenabout a month ago

    ha! This is so true! You always go and watch your significant other when you're dating, but as soon as you're married, it's like - nah!! Thought this was great Jay!

  • Kenny Pennabout a month ago

    Sounds like some great memories here Jay, I was never really into baseball but I still have a group of friends from years ago. P.S. I pictured your baseball team being introduced to the fans to the tune of “Hit me baby one more time” 😂

  • Dana Crandellabout a month ago

    What a great, reIatable tale, J-bud! I spent about 15 years playing city league slow pitch. The most memorable of those were for Levi Strauss, a team that finally won a leaugue championship in '74 (I think.) Position: pitcher (one of two, and as such, part-time sub for whatever position needed to be filled when people someone couldn't make the game.) Still have the team pics and little trophies, of course.

  • Caroline Janeabout a month ago

    You had a good crew there! Quite the team. "Most defensive offensive... " 🤣🤣❤️

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    Home run!!! Entertaining family, frienda and baseball story!!! Bravo!!!💕❤️❤️

  • Novel Allenabout a month ago

    Baseball to me is like speaking a foreign language, This went completely over my head. But I get the gist of it. Remembering the good old days when the bones were young/youngish and we did not have to worry about the old ticker beating irregularly. 🤔🦜

  • Rachel Deemingabout a month ago

    I loved having this trip into the past with you. Funny, all those different traits that you each have on your team. Hiding your Pepsi too, made me laugh! Brothers, eh? My boys are just like that too! And I would still cheer if my husband was playing. He might not want me to but I would!

  • Jay Kantor (Author)about a month ago

    Guy: While you might not have been much of a baseball player, you sure knocked it out of the park with this story…!!!

  • Mark Gagnonabout a month ago

    The good old days! Growing up in the projects, if we weren't fighting we were playing sandlot baseball. I wouldn't want to go back, but I did have some good times. Thanks for the memories, Jay!

  • C. Rommial Butlerabout a month ago

    Well-wrought! I always enjoy these walks down memory lane with you!

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Awww, those tiny engraved plastic trophies! It's been soooo long since I've seen them! I enjoyed reading this!

  • Jay Kantor (Author)about a month ago

    Kathy: As always, Jay paints a delightful picture of past experiences. His humorous storytelling is why the readers consistently vote him number one.

  • Lacy Loar-Gruenlerabout a month ago

    Another 'hit' Jay-Bud! Love the adult memories from before our bones creaked when we ran.

  • Shirley Belkabout a month ago

    Jay you should put this in the sports community. (They call it something else.) Fun times...glad you shared your memories. Enjoyed seeing the games in my head...now I want a beer and a hot dog!

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