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Something to Take Away by Hawkeye Pete Egan B.
 

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  • Shadows are fallin' and I've been here all day
    It's too hot to sleep and time is runnin' away
    Feel like my soul has turned into steel
    I've still got the scars that the sun didn't heal
    There's not even room enough to be anywhere
    It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.

    Well, I've been to London and I been to gay Paris
    I've followed the river and I got to the sea
    I've been down on the bottom of the world full of lies
    I ain't lookin' for nothin' in anyone's eyes
    Sometimes my burden is more than I can bear
    It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.

    I was born here and I'll die here against my will
    I know it looks like I'm movin' but I'm standin' still
    Every nerve in my body is so naked and numb
    I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from
    Don't even hear the murmur of a prayer
    It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.

    - From “It’s Not Dark Yet”, by Bob Dylan
    -
    “Hey, Ansel Adams!" Roger was coming up behind me on the long, winding path through the soccer fields, that led to the hill atop which were the two Softball Diamonds, one of which was where our games for the night were scheduled to be played. I'd been lugging my gear up the path, when I was taken away by this scene, and had to stop, drop my ball-playing gear, and get a few shots of this with my Iphone.

    Roger's the other "old guy", along with me, playing on these teams with all these young guns. He helps me out sometimes with managing the Diamond Flames, and plays beside me in the field, at Shortstop, while I usually play Third Base. Couple of old guys playing a couple of young guy positions.

    "Look at that sky! That just took my breath away - I had to get some shots". Roger just laughed. That wound up being one of the highlights of the night - but I'll take it. It was a moment to remember, a snapshot to take into eternity.

    Neither of our Summer teams are doing very well. My “Flames” won the Spring championship, but have inexplicably started out 1-9 in the summer season. The ZomBees (don't ask - I have no idea where that team name came from - I just play for them) aren't doing much better.
  • I'm still hitting the crap out of the ball, as my best year ever at the plate continues to unleash itself on the opposing teams, and I don't know why. I suspect it has to do with focus - I've found that sweet spot where my head's in the game throughout, and I don't get so caught up in the competition that I try to play outside of my abilities. As a result, I just drive the ball wherever the pitch that's presented allows me to drive it. Sometimes it still goes a long way – most times, it’s line drives to where the fielders aren’t. Wayne had me batting lead-off last night. That hasn't happened too often in my career. I delivered, which felt great. Getting our butts handed to us in both games by the other team didn't, but you can't always have it all. You can't always enjoy the thrill of victory - you have to also endure the agonies of defeat. It's all a part of it. You take away what you can from each moment, each game, each evening.

    Last night, I took this marvelous sky scene away, along with that drive over the right-centerfielder's head for a stand-up double, and going 5 for 7 at the plate from the lead-off spot. That made it a good night – for me, despite the losses.

    Roger had a rough night. He took a hard shot off the shin at shortstop in the first game, as the infield was tough, balls bouncing every which way but where you expected them to. I suggested to Wayne that he have Roger pitch the second game, as Steve was getting lit up, and Roger needed a break from Shortstop. He hadn’t pitched in two years, but he was brilliant, and made a few spectacular fielding plays on the mound. I think it helped salvage an otherwise dispiriting night for him.
  • Roger and I dragged our tired old guy bodies back down the hill, and across the vast expanse of soccer fields, under a now dark, starlit sky, towards our cars after the dual drubbings, talking about what our teams needed to pick up their games, already strategizing about Fall Ball, and ways to improve. What went unspoken between us, but was discernible just beneath the surface talk, was the sheer pride and honor that we both carry with us, about the fact that we still got game, can still mix it up with the young guns out on these diamonds, that we still are forces to reckon with. This helps us to push back the night, to delay the encroaching darkness, just a little bit longer.
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