Play of the Century!
Two HDL games were played last week. On Wednesday, July 2nd, Peterbilt Red team, notched their first victory of the season. July 4th was on Friday so no HDL games were played. Yesterday (7/6) there were doubts that two teams, CDS Gray and Peterbilt Red, would have enough players to make a good game. However, both teams had at least 10 or 11 players so the game was played even though several veteran players from Red team were off due to Holiday and vacations.
CDS Gray 13 – Peterbilt Red 8
Wood Bats were mandatory so many of players from both teams were unsure how it was going to feel swinging these “finely shaped tree trunks.” Adam Wasson was available to pitch for Red team and Wes Hill pitched for the Gray team.
CDS Gray took a 3-2 lead into the top of the 3rd inning and capitalized on a lead-off error, then a Hit Batter (Juan Castillo). This set the table for a 2 RBI single by Cesar Roman who was in town for another HDL game appearance. Oscar Zumudio followed Cesar with a base hit and scored on Carlos Varela’s ground out that expanded Gray team lead to 7-2. CDS tacked on 3 more runs in the top of the 5th inning. A couple of walks and an error allowed 3 runners to score when CDS only had 1 hit in the inning but now the score was 10-3.
The Peterbilt team had some good at bat’s but could never put two hits back-to-back until the 6th inning when Kevin Latham reached on an error and scored on Johnny Houghton’s nice double in right-center gap. Johnny Houghton scored after Mike Morris second hit of the game.
In last 4 innings of the game, Peterbilt had 9 hits that knocked in 6 runs. But walks and a couple of critical infield errors hurt opportunities to keep the Gray team from scoring 3 or more runs in 3 different innings.
It was obvious that the Wood Bats helped minimize inning run differentials. During one conversation, Juan Blanco stated, “Why don’t we keep wood bat required in all games?” This statement has been made in years past. Especially after players see how the bats affect more balanced games. Being one of the oldest players in the HDL, I remember when I started in the league and Wood Bats was all we had available. It was a big deal when metal bats were allowed in the league. In late 70’s, early 80’s, metal bats were just being approved by youth and high school leagues. Even softball leagues used wood bats. The reason metal bats became popular was the longer life and reliability factors. The cost of wood bats were going up and many times someone would buy a new bat and break it the first time they used it. That’s when players started seriously considering metal bats. In the HDL during wood bat early years I can remember being told, “You break it, you pay for it.” Economics have a way of justifying changes – in everything. (It’s them damn “Bean Counters” you got to watch out for.)
PLAY of the CENTURY!
Every once in a while an HDL player will do something completely unexpected. Yesterday, in bottom of 7th inning the Red team was batting with 2 outs when Kevin Latham shot a line drive between the CDS Right Fielder, Carlos Cabrerra and the First Base line. Kevin Latham was thinking “Double-all-the-way”. Carlos Cabrerra was hustling and caught the ball on a good hop off the ground. Carlos immediately pivoted toward 2nd base, saw Latham running between 1st & 2nd. Carlos Cabrerra is best known for being a Fastpitch Softball pitcher from Venezuella. So Carlos did what comes natural, we windmill the ball underhanded and threw a laser strike to Cesar Roman who was covering 2nd base. The ball one-hopped to Cesar as Latham went into his slide to the bag. It was an easy “OUT” call for base umpire, Bo McMinn. Players were hooting & hollering and going, “Da-Da-Dunt, Da-Da-Dunt!!!” Where are the cameras when a play like this is being made. It would have been “Top 10” on ESPN SportsCenter – No Doubt about it. In all my years in HDL, I have never seen a player make a play like this – Underhanded!
Back to game. The score ended 13-8, both teams shook hands after the game and proceeded to post-game Grilling fun.
Everyone was ready to enjoy the fantastic weather Memphis has had for past 5 days when overnight temperatures were in the 60’s and days were low to mid-80’s. Lots of Chicken was cooked and washed down with cold beverages. It was a great day.
[Did anyone notice that Larry Rutledge got a new camera! These pictures are more in focus. ]
Next Sunday Schedule:
9:00 AM – Orange vs Red; 11:40 AM – Blue vs Gray