Softball at Oak Grove School

The favorite game was softball for fourth-graders and up. But there wasn’t enough time to get a game in. Since recess lasted ten minutes, we had to settle for catch or hit fly balls or grounders.

Noon lunch was longer, though, and allowed us to get a game in. Some days we played as much as five innings. We had to leave a few minutes to gulp down our food. Two boys in either seventh or eighth grade were appointed, or rather self-appointed, to “choose up” sides. Girls were excluded from the “choose sides” privilege. The “choosers” would stand about four feet apart. Winner of the bat toss got first pick to form √a team. Up until fourth grade, I was one of the last picks. But as I grew older, I got bigger and stronger, and therefore higher in the picking order.

Whoever laid out Oak Grove School did not have softball in mind. We had a terrible field. We thought it was fine at the time and just accepted what we had.

The only level spot on the field was the batter’s box. The woodshed acted as the batter’s box. The bases were pieces of firewood that kept moving around. The batter ran downhill to get to first base, a few feet beyond first base was the gravel road that led to Kettle Hollow. Second base was close to the road that led back to Oak Grove Ridge. A runner ran uphill to get from second base to third base, which was right next to the hand-operated water pump.

The softball diamond was not square. It was diamond-shaped, like on playing cards.  The distance from home plate to second base was almost twice the distance as from first to third base.

To be continued………..


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